January 5, 2017
Lehigh Valley, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Phantoms, proud AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, are pleased to announce that forwards Taylor Leier (1st selection) and Jordan Weal (2nd selection) along with defenseman T.J. Brennan (4th selection) have been named to the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, to be held January 29-30 at the PPL Center.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross includes the AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan on Sunday, January 29 followed by the AHL All-Star Challenge on Monday, January 30. Ticket packages are currently available for purchase online at phantomshockey.com or in-person at the PPL Center Box Office [701 Hamilton Street].
A 22-year-old forward from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Leier is in his third professional season and is currently tied for fifth among all Phantoms in scoring with 20 total points (6 goals, 14 assists). He returned to Lehigh Valley earlier this week following a 10-game stint with the Flyers where he tallied a goal, an assist and two points.
A fourth-round selection (#117 overall) by Philadelphia in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Leier finished second among all Phantoms with 20 goals and 49 points a season ago.
A 24-year-old forward from North Vancouver, British Columbia, Weal is currently in his fifth professional season and currently leads all Phantoms and is tied for fifth among all AHL skaters in total scoring with 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists). One of Lehigh Valley’s most consistent point producers, he’s recorded at least one point in 11 of his last 15 games and has already compiled nine multi-point outings this season.
A member of the 2015 Calder Cup champion Manchester Monarchs, Weal was awarded the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP that year after an impressive 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 19 postseason outings. This marks the second AHL All-Star nod for Weal after he represented the Eastern Conference in the 2015 AHL All-Star Classic held at the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York.
A 27-year-old defenseman from Willingboro, New Jersey, Brennan is in the midst of his eighth professional campaign and is presently second among all Phantoms and third among active AHL blueliners in scoring with 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists). He currently leads all AHL defenders with 10 goals and is tied for the league lead among blueliners with six power play conversions. Lehigh Valley’s most potent offensive contributor of late, Brennan has tallied 12 points (5 goals, 7 assists) over the team’s last 12 games.
A two-time Eddie Shore Award winner (2015-16, 2013-14) as the AHL’s best defenseman, Brennan will be appearing in the AHL All-Star Classic for the fourth straight season after representing the Toronto Marlies (AHL All-Stars) in 2014 in St. John’s, the Rockford IceHogs (Western Conference) in 2015 in Utica and the Marlies (North Division) again last year in Syracuse, New York.
Leier, Weal and Brennan will be members of the Atlantic Division team.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan on Jan. 29 (7:30 p.m. ET) will pit the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.
In the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge on Jan. 30 (7 p.m. ET), the four teams will participate in 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 will face off for the championship, a six-minute game also played at 3-on-3.
Starting at just $26 each, single-event tickets are now on sale for the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross, featuring the AHL All-Star Skills Competition presented by Giant Food Stores and Velaspan and the AHL All-Star Challenge. To purchase event tickets, please visit phantomshockey.com, call 610-347-TIXX or visit the PPL Center box office. The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will be preceded by a Phan Fest on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., followed by a Tailgate Party beginning at 6 p.m. Both events will take place at the PPL Center and tickets for both the Phan Fest ($5) and Tailgate Party ($10) are also available now at phantomshockey.com.
The 2017 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Capital BlueCross will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 93 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Artem Anisimov, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Troy Brouwer, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Chris Kunitz, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Patrick Sharp, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello, as well as former Lehigh Valley Phantoms representatives Nick Cousins, Brandon Manning and Anthony Stolarz.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League continues to serve as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, trainers, executives and broadcasters of all 30 National Hockey League teams. More than 88 percent of NHL players last season were AHL graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2015-16, over 7.1 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America, the highest total attendance in league history.
RISE UP! Another thrilling season of Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey at PPL Center is underway! Reserve your group outings for the 2016-2017 season of Phantoms hockey today. For more information on how to reserve your seat at PPL Center to the hottest ticket in town, call the Phantoms front office today at 610-224-GOAL !
And for the latest Phantoms news, visit www.phantomshockey.com or follow the team on Facebook (www.facebook.com/lehighvalleyphantoms), Twitter (@lvphantoms), Instagram (@lehighvalleyphantoms) and Snapchat (lvphantoms).
The Phantoms are coming off their 20th Anniversary Season and second campaign in the Lehigh Valley playing at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Established in 1996, the Phantoms spent their first 13 seasons at the Spectrum in Philadelphia before re-locating to Glens Falls, New York in 2009 where the team spent the next five seasons as the Adirondack Phantoms. A new era of Phantoms hockey began in the fall of 2014 when the Lehigh Valley Phantoms began play at the state-of-the-art PPL Center. Through 20 incredibly successful campaigns, the Phantoms have captured two Calder Cup Championships (1998, 2005), two Conference Championships (1998, 2005), two Regular Season Titles (1996-97, 1997-98) and four Division Championships (1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 2003-04).