The AHL announced its 2015-16 All-Rookie Team today, and here it is:
Goalie: Juuse Saros, Milwaukee (Nashville)
Defenseman: Brandon Montour, San Diego (Anaheim)
Defenseman: Robbie Russo, Grand Rapids (Detroit)
Forward: Austin Czarnik, Providence (Boston)
Forward: Mikko Rantanen, San Antonio (Colorado)
Forward: Frank Vatrano, Providence (Boston)
Click here to read more about each player.
Rantanen is arguably the most well-known of the bunch. The 19-year-old was the 10th overall pick in the 2015 draft, so it’s no surprise to see his name on the list.
As for the other names, one wonders if Montour’s progression — along with Shea Theodore’s — could allow the Ducks to make Sami Vatanen available this offseason. Not because they’d want to trade Vatanen, but rather because he’s a pending restricted free agent and there’s only so much cap space. For the record, Vatanen has said he wants to remain a Duck “for a long time.”
Russo, 23, is another interesting story. He was originally drafted by the Islanders, but after four years at Notre Dame signed with the Red Wings as a free agent. That’s looking like a nice get for Detroit, which needs to keep getting younger on the back end.
Meanwhile, the Bruins have to be pleased to have two of their prospects honored — both Czarnik and Vatrano were undrafted, by the way — and it’ll be interesting to see what the Preds have planned for Saros. He’s only 20 and that’s young for a goalie, so even though Pekka Rinne‘s backup, Carter Hutton, is a pending unrestricted free agent, chances are Saros will get some more time in the AHL next season.