Driedger, Tippett to Represent T-Birds at 2020 AHL All-Star ClassicJan 3, 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - The American Hockey League announced on Friday the full rosters for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport, taking place at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., on January 26-27, 2020. The Springfield Thunderbirds will be represented by goaltender Chris Driedger and forward Owen Tippett.
A native of Calgary, AB, the 25-year-old Driedger earned his first All-Star Classic by virtue of leading the AHL in save percentage (.938) through his first 14 appearances with Springfield this season. That came after he led all qualified goaltenders in that same category in the 2018-19 AHL season (.924). In 46 career appearances with the Thunderbirds, Driedger is 24-20-1 with a .928 save percentage.
Since his recall to the Florida Panthers, Driedger has appeared in four NHL contests, going 3-1-0 while posting a 2.27 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. It was his first NHL action since he appeared with the Ottawa Senators during the 2016-17 season. He was originally a third round selection by Ottawa in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Tippett, 20, has been among AHL rookie leaders in most scoring categories in 2019-20, and as of Jan. 3, he sits 5th in goals (12) and points (25), and tied for the AHL rookie lead in power play goals (6). A native of The Panthers' 10th overall selection in the 2017 NHL Draft, Tippett now has 13 goals, 14 assists, and 27 points in 41 career AHL games to go along with a +7 rating.
Tippett made his NHL debut at the age of 18 back in October of 2017, scoring one goal in seven games with Florida.
Prior to Driedger and Tippett, the Thunderbirds have previously been represented in All-Star Classics by defenseman MacKenzie Weegar (2017), forwards Alex Grenier (2018) and Anthony Greco (2019), and goaltender Sam Montembeault (2019).
The 2020 rosters feature 33 first-time AHL All-Stars and 12 former first- or second-round draft choices. In addition, 23 of the All-Stars named have also played in the National Hockey League already this season, including Drake Batherson of the Belleville Senators (Ottawa), Morgan Frost of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia), Gerald Mayhew of the Iowa Wild (Minnesota), Kailer Yamamoto of the Bakersfield Condors (Edmonton) and Rasmus Sandin of the Toronto Marlies (Toronto), who becomes the first AHL All-Star born in the 2000’s.
Hartford Wolf Pack head coach Kris Knoblauch, Rochester Americans head coach Chris Taylor, Milwaukee Admirals head coach Karl Taylor and Tucson Roadrunners head coach Jay Varady will serve as coaches for the event.
The 2020 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.
In the 2020 AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Jan. 27 (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT), the four teams will participate in a 3-on-3, round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin will face off for the championship, a six-minute, 3-on-3 game.
Driedger and Tippett will represent the Thunderbirds and participate as members of the Atlantic Division All-Star team. Each of the AHL’s four divisions will be represented by 12 players. Rosters were determined by committees of AHL coaches, and all 31 AHL teams are represented by at least one All-Star.
Full rosters can be seen below:
BRI - Sebastian Aho
CHA - Jake Bean
HFD - Joey Keane, Igor Shesterkin
HER - Matt Moulson ("C"), Mike Sgarbossa
LV - Morgan Frost
PRO - Paul Carey, Jack Studnicka
SPR - Chris Driedger, Owen Tippett
WBS - Andrew Agozzino
Coach: Kris Knoblauch (HFD)
BEL - Rudolfs Balcers, Drake Batherson
BNG - Ben Street
CLE - Nathan Gerbe
LAV - Charles Hudon
RCH - Jonas Johansson, Lawrence Pilut
SYR - Alex Barre-Boulet
TOR - Kasimir Kaskisuo, Rasmus Sandin
UTI - Reid Boucher, Brogan Rafferty
Coach: Chris Taylor (ROC)
CHI - Lucas Elvenes
GR - Matthew Ford ("C"), Chris Terry
IA - Gerald Mayhew, Brennan Menell
MB - Jansen Harkins
MIL - Alexandre Carrier, Connor Ingram, Yakov Trenin
RFD - Kevin Lankinen
SA - Derrick Pouliot
TEX - Joel L'Esperance
Coach: Karl Taylor (MIL)
BAK - Kailer Yamamoto
COL - T.J. Tynan
ONT - Kale Clague, Martin Frk, Cal Petersen
SD - Anthony Stolarz, Chris Wideman
SJ - Joachim Blichfeld
STK - Glenn Gawdin, Matthew Phillips
TUC - Kyle Capobianco, Lane Pederson
Coach: Jay Varady (TUC)
Tickets for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport, which include admission to both the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 26, and the AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, Jan. 27, are available now by visiting ontarioreign.com/allstar.
For more ticket information or to become a 2019-20 Springfield Thunderbirds ticket package member, or to purchase single game tickets, call (413) 739-GOAL (4625) or visit www.SpringfieldThunderbirds.com.