SPRINGFIELD, MA . . . The American Hockey League announced today the 2002 AHL All-Rookie Team, as voted on by AHL players and media in each of the league’s 27 cities.
2002 AHL All-Rookie Team
Goaltender – Michael Leighton, Norfolk Admirals
Defenseman – Ron Hainsey, Quebec Citadelles
Defenseman – Barret Jackman, Worcester IceCats
Forward – Tyler Arnason, Norfolk Admirals
Forward – Andy Hilbert, Providence Bruins
Forward – Cory Larose, Houston Aeros
Each All-Rookie Team member will receive a custom designed crystal award in recognition of his selection to the 2002 AHL All-Rookie Team.
Previous selections to the AHL All-Rookie Team include Dan Cloutier (1997), Mike Leclerc (1997), Jean-Sebastien Giguere (1998), Zdeno Chara (1998), Brendan Morrison (1998), Marc Savard (1998), Daniel Briere (1998), J.P. Dumont (1999), Shane Willis (1999), Robert Esche (1999), Mika Noronen (2000), Dmitri Kalinin (2000) and Toby Petersen (2001).
2002 AHL All-Rookie Team Bios
Michael Leighton, Goaltender (Norfolk Admirals): A 1999 draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, Michael Leighton burst onto the AHL scene this season and has been among the league’s goaltending leaders all year long, putting Norfolk on the verge of its first division championship. The 20-year-old from Petrolia, Ont., was the ITECH AHL Goaltender of the Month for October, and he currently owns a record of 24-15-8, ranking among the league leaders in wins (T-3rd), goals against average (2.19, 4th) and shutouts (six, 2nd). Leighton was the winning goaltender in the 2002 AHL All-Star Game.
Ron Hainsey, Defense (Quebec Citadelles): Montreal’s first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Ron Hainsey has helped the Quebec Citadelles’ drive to the top of the Canadian Division. The product of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell has recorded seven goals and 23 assists in 57 games for the Citadelles this season, along with a plus-13 rating that ranks second among all team defensemen. Hainsey, a 21-year-old from Bolton, Conn., skated in the 2002 AHL All-Star Game, recording three assists.
Barret Jackman, Defense (Worcester IceCats): The 17th overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, Barret Jackman is continuing to develop into a top prospect for the St. Louis Blues. Jackman, 21, leads all IceCats defensemen and all AHL rookie defensemen with a plus-15 rating, while filling the role of physical presence on the Worcester blue line. A native of Trail, B.C., Jackman is the first IceCat ever to be named to an AHL All-Rookie Team.
Tyler Arnason, Forward (Norfolk Admirals): Born in Oklahoma City and raised in Winnipeg, Tyler Arnason, 23, has had an outstanding season, currently ranking second among all AHL rookies in scoring with 56 points in 60 games, while adding three goals and an assist in 12 NHL contests with Chicago. A 1998 draft pick of the Blackhawks, Arnason appeared in the 2002 AHL All-Star Game, registering a goal. Tyler is looking to follow in the footsteps of his father Chuck, who won a Calder Cup as a rookie in 1972.
Andy Hilbert, Forward (Providence Bruins): Andy Hilbert, a second-round draft pick by Boston in 2000, made a seamless transition from the University of Michigan to the American Hockey League, where he currently ranks fourth among AHL rookies with 51 points (24 goals, 27 assists) in 66 games with Providence. The 21-year-old from Howell, Mich., has also skated in six NHL games for the Bruins, scoring a goal in his first NHL contest on Dec. 20 vs. Montreal. A former All-American at Michigan, Hilbert picked up two goals and an assist in the 2002 AHL All-Star Game.
Cory Larose, Forward (Houston Aeros): A four-year standout at the University of Maine who helped the Black Bears to the 1999 NCAA championship, Cory Larose has had a stellar first season in the AHL. The Campbellton, N.B., native leads all AHL rookies with 30 goals, 58 points and a plus-22 rating, and was the AHL Rookie of the Month for January after tallying 15 points in 12 games. Larose sits atop the Aeros’ scoring page and has led Houston to a successful first season in the AHL.