Vladislav Kamenev and Frederick Gaudreau have been named to the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic.
Amidst the news about Ryan Johansen being traded for Seth Jones and Roman Josi, Shea Weber, and Pekka Rinne being named to the NHL All Star Game in Nashville, this might fly a bit under the radar. If anything, though, this should excite fans even more because it is a validation of the Predators prospect pool and development system.
Frederick Gaudreau is really the case and point for this. After being signed to an AHL deal out of the QMJHL in 2014, Gaudreau spent his season between Cincinnati and Milwaukee, where he rode the pine for most of the season. This season he has filled in exceptionally well as the Milwaukee Admirals' number one center and leads the Admirals in points. Becuase of this success, he was also recently signed to his first AHL-NHL entry level contract.
While I think an argument can easily be made for Max Gortz to have been named to the All Star team over Vladislav Kamenev, this is a great stamp of approval for the Predators scouting department, who heavily targeted Kamenev in the 2014 draft. While he hasn't been hugely productive in his first season in North America, he has been a key contributor in all situations (even strength, power-play, and penalty-kill) and has made a successful transition, all things considered. This past Tuesday he captained Russia to a silver medal in the World Junior Championships and led his team in goals with 5.
3 teenagers will be at the AHL ASG: William Nylander (if healthy)-TOR, Mikko Rantanen-COL and Vladislav Kamenev-NSH. Doesn't happen often.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) January 7, 2016
Also of note, the two forwards will be coached by their head coach, Dean Evason, in the All-star Game. Evason was given the honor because he has coached the Milwaukee Admirals to the top of their division.
The full rosters can be found here.