(RAPID CITY, SD) – The ECHL on Thursday 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. The game will air LIVE exclusively on NHL Network. The Rapid City Rush is pleased to announce that our very own Dante Salituro has been named to Team Mountain Division for the All-Star Classic!
Salituro, the third All-Star in Rush ECHL history, came to the Rush from the AHL’s Iowa Wild on two different occasions this season. The 5’9”, 175-pound forward appeared in a pair of games with the Wild, registering a +1 rating during his time in Des Moines. This season, Salituro has been sensational for the Rush, racking up 11 goals, 14 assists, and 25 points, the latter of which paces the Rush and the former of which is shared with Pavel Jenys for the team lead. His 25 points are tied for 7th-best among ECHL rookies, his 11 goals tied for 5th-best in the same category, and his 4 power play goals are tied for 3rd-best in the same standing as well.
Last season, Salituro made his professional debut with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters (5 GP, 1 goal), and the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones (2 GP), and Norfolk Admirals (5 GP, 1g-1ast-2pts). Before jumping to the pro ranks, the Willowdale, Ontario native played five seasons in the OHL with the London Knights and Ottawa 67’s, registering 282 points (122g-160ast) in 295 games. He spent four of his five seasons in Ottawa, averaging just under a point-per-game in his 67’s career (260pts, 265 GP).
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 East 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 2018 rosters feature 27 first-time ECHL All-Star selections, 12 rookies and nine 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.
North Division All-Stars
G – Etienne Marcoux, Indy Fuel
D – Matt Petgrave, Brampton Beast
F – Woody Hudson, Worcester Railers
F – Alex Krushelnyski, Reading Royals
F – Ty Loney, Adirondack Thunder
F – Joel Lowry, Manchester Monarchs
F – Cody Wydo, Wheeling Nailers
South Division All-Stars
G – Martin Ouellette, Florida Everblades
D – Christopher Dienes, Jacksonville Icemen
D – Nolan Valleau, Orlando Solar Bears
F – Grant Besse, Norfolk Admirals
F – Taylor Cammarata, South Carolina Stingrays
F – Caleb Herbert, Greenville Swamp Rabbits
F – Phil Lane, Atlanta Gladiators
Central Division All-Stars
G – Pat Nagle, Toledo Walleye
D – Kyle Bushee, Kalamazoo Wings
D – Willie Raskob, Quad City Mallards
F – Justin Danforth, Cincinnati Cyclones
F – Mike McMurtry, Kansas City Mavericks
F – Michael Neal, Indy Fuel
F – Artur Tyanulin, Fort Wayne Komets
Mountain Division All-Stars
G – Shane Starrett, Wichita Thunder
D – David Makowski, Allen Americans
D – Cliff Watson, Utah Grizzlies
F – Conner Bleakley, Tulsa Oilers
F – Michael Joly, Colorado Eagles
F – Justin Parizek, Idaho Steelheads
F – Dante Salituro, Rapid City Rush
The 11th class will be inducted into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 15 during a formal dinner, presented by BFL CANADA and Sutton Special Risk, featuring Induction Ceremonies, players from the ECHL All-Star Teams, and several of the NHL and ECHL’s most prestigious trophies.
The 2018 ECHL All-Star Fan Fest, presented by Central Indiana Honda Dealers, will kick off the All-Star festivities Sunday, Jan. 14 from 2-8 p.m. at The Pavilion at Pan Am. Fans in attendance can enjoy a wide array of entertainment options throughout the day in anticipation for the 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. The Hockey Hall of Fame will be on hand with a variety of interactive activities and exhibits, including displays of ECHL and NHL trophies and memorabilia. Fans can enjoy a live performance from Indianapolis’ own Hunter Smith Band, while having the chance to get autographs from Indy Fuel players, ECHL All-Stars and league mascots.
The Rush begin 2018 on the road for a pair of games in Utah on January 5th and 6th. Puck drop for both games at the Maverik Center are slated for 7:05 p.m. MST.
**Information for this release provided by Joe Babik of ECHL**
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 27 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 30th season in 2017-18. There have been 633 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 10 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2017-18 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 26 of the 31 NHL teams in 2017-18, marking the 21st consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.