|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
The American Hockey League began award season today with the AHL All-Rookie team, naming Texas Stars center Riley Damiani to the group. Damiani was the league's leading rookie scorer and pretty much led that category wire-to-wire.
This is only the second time a Texas Star has been named to the All-Rookie team. The other winner was Curtis McKenzie, who also picked up the Rookie of the Year trophy, in 2014. By comparison, Damiani's scored at a higher tick than McKenzie, notching 36 points in 36 games as compared to McKenzie's 65 points in 75 games.
The league will announce divisional All-Star teams tomorrow. Damiani is a strong favorite to be on that team as well. The only potential snub here on today's team from Texas is Thomas Harley, who I had previously thought would be paired with Calen Addison. However, Bako's Max Gildon got the nod thanks to 19 points and a gaudy plus-16 rating. The Texas media contingent did give him a spot on our award ballot, simply because we are not allowed to vote for Harley.
Here's the release:
The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, are pleased to announce that forward Riley Damiani has been named to the AHL All-Rookie Team for the 2020-21 season.
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.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound center was originally selected by Dallas in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
Riley will receive a custom-designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2020-21 AHL All-Rookie Team. He is the second Stars player to earn recognition on the All-Rookie Team, following Curtis McKenzie in 2013-14.
Below is the complete 2020-21 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted by coaches, players and media in each of the league’s 28 active member cities.
2020-21 AHL All-Rookie Team
Goaltender - Logan Thompson, Henderson Silver Knights (23gp, 16-6-1, 1.96gaa, .943sv%, 2so)
Defenseman - Calen Addison, Iowa Wild (31gp, 6+16=22pts., +7)
Defenseman - Max Gildon, Bakersfield Condors (32gp, 2+17=19pts., +16)
Forward - Riley Damiani, Texas Stars (36gp, 11+25=36pts., +3, 4 PPG, 2 GWG)
Forward - Connor McMichael, Hershey Bears (33gp, 14+13=27pts., +6, 6 PPG, 8 GWG)
Forward - Phil Tomasino, Chicago Wolves (29gp, 13+19=32pts., +20, 4 PPG, 2 GWG)