Three members of the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins have been named to the All-Star Classic roster for the Western Conference, and two of them are among the top prospects in the Detroit Red Wings’ organization.
Gustav Nyquist will be making his second straight appearance at the Classic. The Swedish winger has scored 13 goals while racking up 36 points through 37 games this season. He also found himself on the All-Star team for 2011-12, in his first pro season after being a Hobey Baker Award finalist at the University of Maine. He saw his first taste of NHL action last season, and is slated to be one of the team’s first injury call-ups this season.
Petr Mrazek has lived up to the hype as the top goaltending prospect in the organization. A big part of the reason the Griffins lead the Midwest Division, he is 13-5-1 in his AHL career so far. After starting the season in the ECHL, he won his first six starts after his promotion to the Griffins, and boasts a solid 2.24 GAA.
Chad Billins is the third Griffin headed to the All-Star Classic. An undrafted defenseman from Ferris State University, he signed with the Griffins last summer and has had an impressive rookie campaign so far (goal, 18 assists). He continues to build on the experience gained from an appearance in the NCAA National Championship game last season.
The Griffins are the only Western Conference team sending three players to the event, which begins Jan. 27 with a skills competition. The All-Star Game takes place on Jan. 28, with all events being held at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.