Tampa Bay Sports Day

ECHL: Dienes, Valleau, Oullette Representing South in 2018 All-Star Classic

The ECHL announced the rosters for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic, to be hosted by the Indy Fuel on Monday, Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. ET at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

South Division All-Stars include Jacksonville defenseman Christopher Dienes and Martin Ouellette of the division leading Florida Everblades in goal. Defenseman  Nolan Valleau, Orlando Solar Bears and forwards Grant Besse, Norfolk Admirals; Taylor Cammarata, South Carolina Stingrays; Joe Houck, Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Atlanta’s Phil Lane.

For the first time in ECHL history, the All-Star Classic will feature not two, but four teams, representing each of the League’s divisions. In a format similar to those adapted by the NHL and AHL All-Star Games, the four teams will compete in a 3-on-3 tournament in order to crown a winner.

The two semifinal matches will be played within the Eastern and Western Conferences; with the North Division taking on the South Division and the Central Division facing the Mountain Division.

The 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place after the second semifinal game, with the championship round following immediately at the conclusion of the Skills Competition.

The Rapid Fire Shootout Challenge will have five skaters and two goaltenders from each conference. One player will shoot on the opposing conference’s goalie in shootout style with shooters alternating between conferences until all five players have each taken two shots. The goalies will then change and the skill will be repeated. After the end of the two sessions, the goalie with the fewest goals allowed will be the winner. Dienes, Houk and Ouellette are part of the Eastern Conference team.

The 2018 rosters feature 27 first-time ECHL All-Star selections, 13 rookies and eight players who have been selected in the NHL Entry Draft.

More than 65 players from the ECHL All-Star Game have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 51 since 2002 when the lineups began having players who coaches felt were prospects to move up to a higher level.

The rosters were determined in a vote of coaches, team captains, media relations directors, broadcasters and members of the media. Each of the ECHL teams is represented by a player in the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic.

The game will air live exclusively on NHL Network.