Last week it was announced that first-year Providence Bruins head coach Jay Leach earned the nod to coach the Atlantic Division at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic. Today, it was announced that both Jordan Binnington and Austin Czarnik will be joining Leach in representing the P-Bruins during the festivities.
Czarnik currently leads the P-Bruins with 28 points from his nine goals and 19 assists. The speedy center is one of the more consistent point producers in Providence, which makes the All-Star recognition quite deserving.
Binnington, who is actually property of the St. Louis Blues but on a loan in Providence, has been one of the best goaltenders in the AHL this season with a 9-1-2 record. His 1.59 goals against average is the best in the league while his .938 save percentage is second best. This All-Star selection was well-deserved.
If things worked out differently with certain players, there probably could have been a few more P-Bruins heading to the All-Star Classic. Had Danton Heinen remained in Providence after putting up eight points in four games, there is a good chance he produced consistently enough to get an All-Star nod. Instead, Heinen has 28 points in 34 games with the big club and is currently fourth in rookie scoring.
Peter Cehlarik had six points in his first six games, then missed some time with an injury, and then was recalled by Boston after recovering. He tallied a goal and an assist with the big club before suffering a lower-body injury against Pittsburgh on November 24 and missed the entire month of December. He definitely could have made the All-Star Classic after skating circles around opposing teams’ defense throughout those six games.
On the back end, Matt Grzelcyk certainly could have made the All-Star Classic if he remained in Providence, but he played well enough to earn a recall to Boston, where he has been since November.
The AHL All-Star Classic will be held from January 28-29 in Utica, New York. Binnington, Czarnik, and Leach all deserved their respective invites to All-Star Classic and will do a fine job representing the Providence Bruins.