Replacement players, skills competition rosters named for 2018 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic

The ECHL on Friday announced that four players have been added to the roster 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 and telecast live in the United States on NHL Network.

In the North Division, Manchester’s Sam Kurker will replace Joel Lowry while Reading’s Michael Huntebrinker will replace Alex Krushelnyski.

For the South Division, Greenville’s Joe Houk will replace Caleb Herbert and in the Central Division, Matt Robertson of Kansas City will replace Mike McMurtry.

The Mountain Division All-Star roster remains the same.

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 North Division taking on the South Division and the Central Division facing the Mountain Division. The 2018 BlueIndy/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 BlueIndy/ECHL All-Star Skills Competition will feature three events: Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot and Rapid Fire Shootout Challenge.

The Fastest Skater will feature three players from each conference, who will each skate one lap around the ice to determine their time. Representing the Eastern Conference is Brampton’s Matt Petgrave, Norfolk’s Grant Besse and South Carolina’s Taylor Cammarata while Justin Danforth of Cincinnati, Artur Tyanulin of Fort Wayne and Justin Parizek of Idaho will represent the Western Conference.

The Hardest Shot will feature four players from each conference, who will each be given three opportunities to register their strongest effort on net. The winner will be the player who records the highest miles per hour in a single shot. Woody Hudson of Worcester, Sam Kurker of Manchester, Nolan Valleau of Orlando and Phil Lane of Atlanta will represent the Eastern Conference while the Western Conference will be represented by Quad City’s Willie Raskob, Kalamazoo’s Kyle Bushee, Utah’s Cliff Watson and Rapid City’s Dante Salituro.

The Rapid Fire Shootout Challenge will have five skaters and two goaltenders from each conference. One player will shoot on the opposing conference’s goalie in shootout style with shooters alternating between conferences until all five players have each taken two shots. The goalies will then change and the skill will be repeated. After the end of the two sessions, the goalie with the fewest goals allowed will be the winner. Representing the Eastern Conference will be Adirondack’s Ty Loney, Wheeling’s Cody Wydo, Reading’s Michael Huntebrinker, Jacksonville’s Christopher Dienes and Greenville’s Joe Houk, along with goaltenders Etienne Marcoux of Indy and Martin Ouellette of Florida. The Western Conference will be represented by Matt Robertson of Kansas City, Michael Neal of Indy, David Makowski of Allen, Conner Bleackley of Tulsa and Michael Joly of Colorado along with goaltenders Pat Nagle of Toledo and Shane Starrett of Wichita.

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.

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  who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 13 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 had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.