The American Hockey League announced today that Rochester Americans defenseman Lawrence Pilut and goaltender Jonas Johansson have been named to the North Division All-Star roster for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Ontario International Airport. The annual event will take place Jan. 26-27 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., home of the Ontario Reign.
Pilut earns his second straight AHL All-Star selection after recording 20 points (4+16) in 27 games in his second season with the Amerks. Pilut, who was also named to the 2019 event but was unable to attend due to NHL recall, is currently tied for 10th among all AHL blueliners with a team-high 16 assists and 13th in overall scoring coming into the New Year.
The Tingsryd, Sweden, native has been one of Rochester’s most consistent point-getters as of late, showing 15 points (3+12) over his last 19 games dating back to Nov. 15, including a season-long four-game point streak over that span. The former SHL Defenseman of the Year has already matched his goal total from last season in three fewer games and is on pace to set a new career-high in points.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound defenseman has amassed 46 points (8+38) and a plus-32 on-ice rating in 57 career games with Rochester.
Johannsson earns his first AHL All-Star selection after posting a career-best 10-2-2 record with two shutouts in 15 games this season. He also has the second-best goal-against average in the league (2.00) and ranks second all netminders with a .933 save percentage.
Making up one half of Rochester’s elite goaltending tandem, Johansson and the Amerks own the top defense in the league, having allowed only 74 goals through the first 32 games of the season, the fewest in the AHL coming into the weekend.
Dating back to Nov. 13, the third-year netminder boasts a perfect 8-0-0 record with two shutouts, a 1.74 goals-against average and a .946 save percentage while allowing just two goals or less in six consecutive starts over that span.
A third-round pick (61st overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in 2014, the 6-foot-5, 219-pound netminder has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Amerks, boasting a 21-9-3 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 34 career games.
Pilut and Johansson will join third-year Amerks head coach Chris Taylor, who earlier this week clinched the honor of coaching the North Division All-Star team at the event. Taylor, who spent the first two months of the 2019-20 season assisting the Buffalo Sabres coaching staff, owns a 91-67-8 record as Rochester’s bench boss while also leading the Amerks to back-to-back playoff appearances. A member of the Amerks Hall of Fame, Taylor becomes Rochester’s first All-Star coach since John Tortorella in 1997.
The 2020 AHL All-Star Classic will be the first time that the AHL's annual midseason event will be held in California. The two-day event begins on Sunday, Jan. 26 with the 2020 AHL All-Star Skills Competition at 7:00 p.m. In keeping with its traditional format, the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions will be squaring off against the All-Stars from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events, including hardest shot, fastest skater and accuracy shooting.
The 2020 AHL All-Star Challenge will then take place on the evening of Monday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. For the fifth straight year, instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the league’s all-stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, North, Central, Pacific). The teams will then play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of 10 minutes each played entirely 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 also played using the 3-on-3 format. Rosters for each team will be composed of 11 skaters and two goaltenders.
Tickets for the two-day 2020 AHL All-Star Classic presented Ontario International Airport start as low as $35 and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 26 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 27. Event tickets will be available for purchase online at www.ontarioreign.com/allstartickets.