Springfield, MA – The Stockton Heat, proudly owned by the NHL’s Calgary Flames, announce that center Derek Grant has been named an AHL All-Star and will participate in the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic scheduled for January 31 and February 1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y.
Grant, 25, is a first-time All-Star selection after leading the Stockton Heat with 15 goals and 21 points in 21 games. His 15 goals put him in a six-way tie for second-most in the AHL.
The fourth round, 119th overall pick of the Ottawa Senators in 2008 began his pro career in 2010-11 with the Binghamton Senators. He played parts of five seasons for the Ottawa organization before signing with the Calgary Flames in July 2015. The forward has played 9 games with Calgary this season.
Each of the AHL’s four divisions will be represented by 13 players: seven forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders. Rosters were determined by committees of AHL coaches, and all 30 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 31 (8 p.m. ET) will keep its traditional format, with All-Stars from the Eastern Conference squaring off against All-Stars from the Western Conference in seven skills events.
The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Challenge will take place on the evening of Feb. 1 (7 p.m. ET); instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the AHL’s All-Stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, North, Central, Pacific). The teams will then play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of nine minutes each; the first half of each game will be played at 4-on-4, and the second half at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game played at 3-on-3.
Grant’s Pacific division team includes:
BAK – Laurent Brossoit, Brad Hunt
ONT – Peter Budaj, Vincent LoVerde, Michael Mersch
SA – Mikko Rantanen
SD – Brandon Montour, Nick Ritchie
SJ – Barclay Goodrow
TEX – Esa Lindell, Travis Morin, Brendan Ranford
The Pacific Division team will open up the round-robin tournament the North Division before playing the Atlantic in their second game. The team will finish off the initial tournament against the Central Division hoping they are one of the two teams with the best record to play in the three-on-three championship game.
Tickets for the two-day 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $40-60 and can be purchased either in person at the Syracuse Crunch office located in the War Memorial Arena at 800 South State Street in Syracuse, by calling (315) 473-4444 or through all Ticketmaster outlets.
The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: Of the 679 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Jiri Hudler, Tyler Johnson, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Miller, Gustav Nyquist, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.