Red Wings Xavier Ouellet And Jeff Hoggan Are AHL All-Stars

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The American Hockey League announced on Thursday that Grand Rapids Griffins defenseman Xavier Ouellet has been selected to play for the Central Division AHL All-Star Team at the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, to be held on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y.

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.

Ouellet joins Jeff Hoggan on the all-star team, after the Griffins' captain was named as a playing captain on Tuesday.

Ouellet has accumulated 15 points (2-13—15), a plus-10 rating and 39 penalty minutes in 31 games for Grand Rapids. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime at Iowa on Dec. 13 and also has recorded two multi-point games.

The 2016 AHL All-Star Classic marks the second consecutive selection for Ouellet, who becomes the fourth Griffin ever to be named an all-star in back-to-back years (Niklas Kronwall 2004-05, Gustav Nyquist 2012-13, Michel Picard 1997-98 in the IHL). Ouellet was unable to play in the 2015 All-Star Classic because he was on recall with the Detroit Red Wings.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound blueliner is just the fourth Griffins defenseman ever to be selected to play in two all-star games, joining Kronwall (2004-05), Travis Richards (2001 IHL and 2004) and John Gruden (2000 IHL and 2002).

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.

The 2016 rosters feature 37 first-time AHL All-Stars, nine rookies and 10 former first-round draft choices, including standouts William Nylander of the Toronto Marlies, Michael McCarron of the St. John's IceCaps, Nick Ritchie of the San Diego Gulls and Mikko Rantanen of the San Antonio Rampage. In addition, 23 of the All-Stars named have appeared in the National Hockey League already this season.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins associate coach Jay Leach, Toronto Marlies head coach Sheldon Keefe, Milwaukee Admirals head coach Dean Evason and Ontario Reign head coach Mike Stothers will serve as coaches for the event.

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.