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Vladislav Kamenev, Frederick Gaudreau Named to 2016 AHL All-Star Classic

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Two Predators prospects will be representing the Admirals at the AHL All-Star Game.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

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.

@gaudislav food, in with my friend

A photo posted by Vlad Kamenev (@kamenev99) on

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.

Per the Milwaukee Admirals:

Milwaukee, WI--The American Hockey League announced today Admirals forwards Frederick Gaudreau and Vladislav Kamenev have been selected to participate in the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, to be held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 in Syracuse, N.Y.

Gaudreau leads the Admirals in points (9g-15a-24pts) and assists, helping the club to the top of the Central Division and Western Conference. The Bromont, QE native, who just signed his first NHL contract earlier in the week, is also tied for sixth in AHL power-play goals (6) and 10th in power-play assists (9). The 2015-16 campaign is Gaudreau's first full season at the AHL level after splitting 2014-15 between the Admirals and the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones.

Never drafted, Gaudreau played three seasons Quebec Major Junior Hockey League which saw him amass 134 points (50g-84a) in 195 games with Shawinigan and Drummundville, winning the 2012 Memorial Cup with the Cataractes and earning the 2014 Frank J. Selke Trophy as the QMJHL's most sportsmanlike player with the Voltigeurs.

Kamenev

The Orsk, Russia native ranked third among Kontinental Hockey League junior players in goals (6) and tied for fourth in points (10) with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in 2014-15. In his draft year, the 6-3, 182-pound left wing helped Magnitogorsk win the 2014 Gagarin Cup Championship and captained Russia at the 2014 Under-18 World Championship, tying for sixth in tournament assists, and for seventh in points (2g-5a-7pts). Kamenev also ranked third in assists (6), and tied for fourth in points (7) at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge, helping Russia to a silver medal, and suited up for all four of Russia’s games at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

The duo will join Admirals Head Coach Dean Evason in Syracuse as he was selected to coach the Central Division All-Stars based on the Admirals having the top points percentage in the division through games on December 31.

This year’s All-Stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s four divisions, for the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Challenge on the evening of Feb. 1. Instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the teams will play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of nine minutes each; the first half of each game will be played at 4-on-4, and the second half at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game played at 3-on-3.

The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 31 will keep its traditional format, with All-Stars from the Eastern Conference squaring off against All-Stars from the Western Conference in seven skills events.

Tickets for the two-day 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic are on sale now. Ticket prices range from $40-60 and can be purchased either in person at the Syracuse Crunch office located in the War Memorial Arena at 800 South State Street in Syracuse, by calling (315) 473-4444 or through all Ticketmaster outlets.

The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic in Syracuse will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: Of the 679 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Jiri Hudler, Tyler Johnson, Chris Kunitz, Ryan Miller, Gustav Nyquist, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.

In operation since 1936 and celebrating its 80th-anniversary season in 2015-16, the AHL continues to serve as the top development league for all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and for the 14th year in a row, more than 6 million fans attended AHL games across North America in 2014-15.