Kasperi Kapanen and Brendan Leipsic, who lead the Marlies in most measures of performance, were named to the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic roster today.
The game takes place over two days, January 29 and 30 in Allentown Pennsylvania, home of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The skills competition is on the first day with the game on the second.
The format for the game is a three-on-three tournament with teams representing each of the divisions in the AHL. The North Division team Kapanen and Leipsic will join contains former Marlies player Casey Bailey, now with the Binghamton Senators, bitter rival Joe Blandisi from the Albany Devils, and the St. John’s IceCaps goalie who is the bane of their existence, Charlie Lindgren. The coach is Benoit Groulx of the top-ranked Syracuse Crunch.
The skills competition is fun and fast-paced, and the game is mostly chaos focused on fairly angry goalies. Goalies don’t like three-on-three. It’s fun to watch, and a great event to take in in person. More details are available via the hosts, the Phantoms.
Kapanen has 30 points (14 goals, 16 assists) in his second full season in the AHL this year. In 77 career AHL games, he has 57 points (24 goals, 33 assists).
Leipsic has 30 points (9 goals, 21 assists). In his third season in the AHL, he leads the league in power-play assists (15) and has failed to register a point in only four games this season. This marks his second all-star appearance; the first was during his rookie season as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals. He has 138 points (43 goals, 95 assists) in 165 career AHL games.
Both of these players are deserving of the honour and will represent the team well. Congratulations, guys!