Vancouver Canucks Prospect Hunter Shinkaruk Named AHL All-Star

Vancouver Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk will represent his Utica Comets at the AHL All-Star Classic.

The American Hockey League announced today the rosters for the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic. Canucks prospect forward Hunter Shinkaruk, selected 24th-overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was named to the North Division roster to represent the Utica Comets and the Vancouver Canucks organization.

Instead of the traditional format, the AHL will also play a four-team 3-on-3 tournament.

Full North Division roster:

Coach Sheldon Keefe (Marlies)
G Yann Danis (Devils)
G Kristers Gudlevskis (Crunch)
D Mark Barberio (IceCaps)
D T.J. Brennan (Marlies)
D Michael Kostka (Senators)
D Matt Taormina (Crunch)
F Mike Angelidis (Crunch)
F Josh Leivo (Marlies)
F Michael McCarron (IceCaps)
F William Nylander (Marlies)
F Cal O’Reilly (Americans)
F Hunter Shinkaruk (Comets)
F Mike Sislo (Devils)

Shinkaruk is the lone Comet selected for the event, which comes to no one’s surprise, as the Comets are not having a great season. Shinkaruk, however, has been an offensive standout.

So far this season, Shinkaruk scored 13 goals along with 12 assists for 25 points in 27 contests. The 21-year-old also made one NHL appearance but went scoreless. He is certainly deserving of another NHL call-up, but the Canucks want him to develop the defensive side of his game in another full season in the AHL.

The tournament will feature several talented players who are working their way up to the NHL. From the Comets’ official release:

The 2016 rosters feature 37 first-time AHL All-Stars, nine rookies and 10 former first-round draft choices, including standouts William Nylander of the Toronto Marlies, Michael McCarron of the St. John’s IceCaps, Nick Ritchie of the San Diego Gulls and Mikko Rantanen of the San Antonio Rampage. In addition, 23 of the All-Stars named have appeared in the National Hockey League already this season.

While the AHL All-Star Game was generally rather uninteresting for NHL fans in the past, it could definitely get exciting this year. Watching Nylander and Shinkaruk play together in a 3-on-3 format should certainly be fun.

With the selection of Shinkaruk in for the AHL All-Star Classic and Daniel Sedin for the NHL All-Star Game, the Canucks only have two players representing the organization in the All-Star events.