|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
The AHL announced this afternoon that Riley Damiani and Adam Mascherin have both been named to the Central Division All-Star team. Damiani was honored as an All-Rookie selection yesterday. The pairing of the two was the story of Texas's season as they combined for 70 points in this pandemic-shortened season.
For Damiani, it's another feather in his cap in a strong season overall. Usually, fifth round picks don't garner this much post-season hardware, but Dallas has had a knack for hitting on fifth rounders (John Klingberg, Jamie Benn) for whatever reason.
For Mascherin, it's a huge honor. He had an outside chance at the goal scoring title as the season wound down. After a shoulder injury ended his 2019-20 season, it was unclear how he would come back. However, the extended time off turned out to be a blessing as he returned to camp in 'the best shape we've ever seen him,' according to head coach Neil Graham. It paid off as the sniper tallied 34 points on the year.
As to the defense, this was the best chance for Thomas Harley to be recognized for his work this season. With 25 points and ranking 2nd overall in defenseman scoring, you would think he would be on this list. Instead, Cody Franson is in the second defenseman spot. Even if you grant that Thomas Harley might not have been an All-Star based on his plus-minus being minus-10, there are several better choices ahead of Franson, including Chicago's Max Lajoie, David Warsofsky or Frederic Allard. And, if you'd believe it, Cody Franson has the same 4-13=17 as Ben Gleason but Gleason boasts a plus-13 rating against Franson's plus-1. And to sum it all up, Franson's IceHogs finished 7 games below .500. I am completely perplexed by this choice.
Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, are pleased to announce that forwards Riley Damiani and Adam Mascherin have been named to the 2020-21 AHL All-Star Team for the Central Division.
Damiani, 21, paced the Stars and all newcomers in the AHL this season with 36 points (11-25=36) and 25 assists in 36 games during his first pro campaign. The Mississauga, Ontario native also finished third in the AHL scoring race and was fourth in assists. Damiani finished the year with points in eight consecutive games and collected nine multi-point outings throughout the season, including the Stars only hat trick on Mar. 13 vs. Colorado. Damiani earned AHL Rookie of the Month honors in March after tallying 15 points (4-11=15) in 10 games.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound center was originally selected by Dallas in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Mascherin, 22, responded with a bounce-back year for his third professional season. The winger from Maple, Ontario led the Stars and finished third in the AHL with 18 goals while ranking second on the club and tied for eighth in the league with 34 points (18-16=34). Mascherin opened the year with a four-point night and added seven more multi-point games throughout the season. His top performance came in the month of March, where he recorded 16 points (7-9=16) in 12 games and held a plus-9 rating.
The 5-foot-10, 200-pound winger was originally selected by Dallas in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Riley and Adam will each receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of their selection to the 2020-21 AHL All-Star Teams. It is the first time since the 2013-14 season that the Stars have had players named to the AHL’s end of season All-Star Teams. Travis Morin and Colton Sceviour were both named to the 2013-14 AHL First All-Star Team that season.
Below is the complete 2020-21 AHL All-Star Teams, as voted by coaches, players, and media in each of the league’s 28 active member cities. This season, an All-Star Team was selected for each of the league’s five divisions.