Both Selected to Canadian Team for AHL All-Star Classic
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, in their 17th season in the American Hockey League, announced that defenseman Johnny Boychuk and center Martin St. Pierre have been named to the Canadian team for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Charter Communications. The event, set for January 25-26 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, features the top young talent in the AHL competing in the Skills Competition and the 2009 AHL All-Star Game. The game, scheduled for at 7 p.m. on January 26, will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada.
The team comprises 24 players - 13 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders - born in Canada. AHL fans determined the starting lineup via on-line balloting at theahl.com, while a committee of AHL coaches selected the remainder of the roster.
Boychuk, 24, has been named a starter on the blue-line for the Canadian team, along with Derek Joslin of the Worcester Sharks. The all-star nod is the first for the fifth-year pro, who leads all AHL defensemen with a career-high 33 points in 37 contests. He is third overall in scoring for Providence. Boychuk's nine goals rank tied for first among league blue-liners and his 24 assists are good for second. He also leads all defensemen with 112 shots and he is second with six power play goals. In addition, Boychuk paces the entire league with 22 power play points, including 16 power play assists, tied for fourth place.
Boychuk is in his first season with the Boston Bruins organization. He made his National Hockey League season debut on December 4, 2008 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, going scoreless in a 3-1 Boston win. He enjoyed previous NHL experience last season during a scoreless four-game stint with the Colorado Avalanche after spending most of the year with the Lake Erie Monsters.
This season, Boychuk was named the P-Bruins' Player of the Month in October after totaling 12 points, including 10 assists, in eight games and he was awarded the Reebok/AHL Player of the Week honor on October 20, 2008 following a seven-point (g, 6a) three-game stretch. He has eight multiple-point outings to his credit this season and three point-streaks of at least four games. Boychuk appeared in his 300th professional game on October 12, 2008 versus the Springfield Falcons.
In his career, Boychuk has 134 points (36g, 98a) and 361 penalty minutes in 336 regular season games, all but five spent in the AHL.
Boston acquired Boychuk on June 24, 2008 from Colorado in a trade for center Matt Hendricks. He was originally drafted by the Avalanche 61st overall in the second round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. Since, the Edmonton, Alberta native has played for Boston, Colorado, Providence, Lake Erie, the Albany River Rats, Lowell Lock Monsters and Hershey Bears.
St. Pierre, 25, earns his fourth straight AHL All-Star selection after starting for the Canadian team in each of the last two seasons. He will serve as a reserve for the 2009 edition. A fifth-year pro, St. Pierre ranks 15th in the AHL and second on Providence with 35 points in 30 games. His 10 goals are tied for second on the P-Bruins while he paces Providence with 25 assists. St. Pierre also leads the P-Bruins with 10 multiple-point games and he has produced three point-streaks of at least four games, including an 11-point (2g, 9a), six-game run in November. His performance earned him the P-Bruins' November Player of the Month award after totaling 16 points, including 12 assists, over 14 games.
The center was recalled to Boston for the first time on December 20, 2008, making his Bruins debut the following night on the road against the St. Louis Blues in a 6-3 Boston win. St. Pierre recorded his first career Boston point that night with an assist. He has played for the Bruins ever since, appearing in seven games overall while totaling three points, including a goal on December 30, 2008 versus the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 5-2 victory.
Signed as a free agent by the Chicago Blackhawks on November 12, 2005, St. Pierre was acquired by Boston in a July 24, 2008 trade for left wing Pascal Pelletier. In his career, the undrafted native of Ottawa, Ontario, has 369 points (102g, 267a) in 346 games spanning the NHL, AHL, ECHL and international play in Russia. Prior to joining Boston, St. Pierre appeared in 21 career NHL games in three seasons for Chicago, scoring four points (g, 3a). He also finished second in the AHL in scoring in both 2007-08 for the Rockford Ice Hogs and 2006-07 for the Norfolk Admirals.
In three previous games for the Canadian team, St. Pierre has eight career points (4g, 4a) and a plus-two rating.
The Canadian AHL All-Star team starting forwards include Hershey's Alexandre Giroux, Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Phantoms and Chris Minard of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Binghamton Senators' Brian Elliott gets the starting duties in net. The squad will be coached by Hershey's Bob Woods and Mark French.
PlanetUSA AHL All-Star team rosters are scheduled to be released on Wednesday afternoon.
Providence Bruins season tickets, Flex Tix packages and single game tickets are on sale now for the 2008-09 season. To purchase tickets or to learn more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.