On Thursday, the AHL announced its roster for the 2014 All-Star Classic and one Detroit Red Wings prospect was named to the squad. This year’s game will feature a new twist, as the 20 best players in the American Hockey League will face off against Farjestad BK, one of the top professional teams in Sweden. Rookie defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who made his NHL debut against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 5, is the lone player from the Grand Rapids Griffins who will take part in the event. As the leader of the defending Calder Cup champions, Griffins head coach and former Red Wings assistant coach Jeff Blashill will coach the AHL squad, while Rob Zettler (head coach of the Syracuse Crunch) will serve as his assistant.
Marchenko will not be in the lineup when the Red Wings take on the San Jose Sharks tonight, but he will remain with the team for the rest of their current California road trip. He drew into the lineup on Saturday as an injury replacement for Danny DeKeyser (groin), but with DeKeyser returning to action on Thursday he will have to wait for his next shot to suit up for the Red Wings. Marchenko was plus-2 while playing more than 13 minutes and even getting a chance to play on the penalty kill. Through 33 games with the Griffins this season, he has two goals and 16 points as well as a plus-15 rating. He was Detroit’s seventh round pick in the 2010 draft, and played for four seasons with CSKA Moscow of the KHL before heading to North America.
The AHL All-Star Classic will take place in St. John’s, N.L. this year and kicks off with a Skills Competition on Feb. 11 and conclude with the All-Star Game on Feb. 12.