Russo Named to 2015-16 AHL Second All-Star Team
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Grand Rapids Griffins rookie defenseman Robbie Russo on Thursday was named to the 2015-16 AHL Second All-Star Team.
Russo was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team on Wednesday, becoming the first player in the franchise's 20-year history to earn both All-Rookie and All-Star Team accolades in the same season. He is the 16th player in team history - and fourth defenseman - selected to a year-end All-Star Team and the first Griffins rookie ever to be named a first or second team All-Star.
Since the league's inception of the All-Rookie Team in 1996-97, Russo becomes the 17th player overall and the seventh defenseman to earn both All-Rookie and All-Star Team selections in the same season. He is one of three rookies just this season to be named to both teams, joining Mikko Rantanen (San Antonio) and Brandon Montour (San Diego).
In his first pro campaign after a stellar four-year collegiate career at Notre Dame, Russo has tallied five goals and 34 assists (5-34-39) in 65 games for Grand Rapids, while posting a league-leading plus-47 rating that is tied for the highest mark by an AHL player since 1993.
Russo, who has been on the ice for only 28 even-strength goals by the opposition all season, has also contributed offensively, ranking third among AHL rookie defensemen and 11th among all league blueliners in scoring. His 39 points have established a new Griffins record for rookie defensemen while ranking eighth on the team's all-time rookie scoring list. Russo's 34 assists are already the most ever by a rookie defenseman, and he is just two shy of tying Gustav Nyquist's record for assists by a first-year Griffin (36 in 2011-12).
Highlights from Russo's rookie campaign include: earning the AHL's Player of the Week honors on Feb. 29 after tallying two goals, five assists (2-5-7) and a plus-8 rating in four games; setting a career high with four points (1-3-4) during a 7-2 victory against Manitoba on March 11; and recording a seven-game assist streak (Dec. 5-19) that fell one game shy of tying the club record.
A 23-year-old native of Westmont, Ill., Russo was originally a fourth-round draft pick (95th overall) by the New York Islanders in 2011 and signed as a free agent with the Detroit Red Wings on Aug. 16, 2015.
Russo will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2015-16 AHL All-Star Second Team.
2015-16 AHL All-Star Teams:
G - Peter Budaj, ONT
D - T.J. Brennan, TOR
D - Brandon Montour, SD
LW - Chris Bourque, HER
C - Frank Vatrano, PRO
RW - Seth Griffith, PRO
G - Matt Murray, WBS
D - Will O'Neill, WBS
D - Robbie Russo, GR
LW - Mikko Rantanen, SA
C - Dustin Jeffrey, WBS
RW - Mike Sislo, ALB
The playoff-bound Griffins have six games remaining in the regular season and will face off against the Chicago Wolves at Van Andel Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.
Fans can secure their full-season, select-season or group ticket packages by calling (616) 774-4585 ext. 2. Single-game tickets for all home games are now available for purchase at all Star Tickets locations, including The Zone, online through griffinshockey.com, or by phone through Star Tickets at (800) 585-3737.
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