Brodie picked for AHL all-star game

Wednesday's news that he'd been selected for the American Hockey League all-star game put a smile on T.J. Brodie's face.

Rookie defenceman T.J. Brodie was named to the AHL all-star game on Wednesday.

Rookie defenceman T.J. Brodie was named to the AHL all-star game on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s news that he’d been selected for the American Hockey League all-star game put a smile on T.J. Brodie’s face.

“I’ve never been on an all-star team before, even back in the OHL,” enthused Brodie, who will be the Heat’s lone representative on the Western Conference squad at AHL all-star classic, Jan. 30-31 in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“It’ll be something new for me, and hopefully it’ll be good. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Brodie, a swift-skating defenceman, is tied for third on the Heat with 15 points (one goal, 14 assists) in 33 games to go with a -2 rating and 22 penalty minutes.

It’s been quite a rookie season for the 20-year-old Dresden, Ont. native. He was a training camp sensation with the Calgary Flames in September and cracked the NHL parent club’s opening-night lineup. Though he only lasted three games with the Flames before being re-assigned to Abbotsford, Brodie established himself as one of the organization’s brightest prospects.

It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, though. Brodie was a healthy scratch for the Heat’s New Year’s Eve game with the Texas Stars, and the message from head coach Jim Playfair to the offensively gifted blueliner was that he needed to simplify his game and focus on defence.

Jay Feaster, the Flames’ acting general manager, told the Calgary Herald last week he thought Brodie came down to Abbotsford with a “lack of respect” for the quality of play in the AHL.

Brodie didn’t dispute Feaster’s analysis.

“It’s not quite as fast (in the AHL), and I felt like I had more time,” he explained. “When you feel you have more time, you try to do too much – or more than you should be doing.

“It’s just knowing when to do things and when not to, that’s the biggest thing. I’m really concentrating on the defensive side of the game. To be honest with you, that’s what I got away from about a month ago.”

The all-star nod, then, is an encouraging landmark for Brodie as he continues to develop his game to the point where he’s an NHL regular.

“I’m just going to go there and try to enjoy myself,” he said. “It’ll be good to play with some of the guys around the league.”

The complete list of AHL all-stars is as follows.

2011 Western Conference AHL All-Stars


Forwards 


Joey Crabb, Toronto


x-David Desharnais, Hamilton 


x-Alexandre Giroux, Oklahoma City (“C”)

Linus Klasen, Milwaukee 


Spencer Machacek, Chicago


Brett MacLean, San Antonio 


x-Travis Morin, Texas


Linus Omark, Oklahoma City


Max Pacioretty, Hamilton 


Michal Repik, Rochester 


Sergei Shirokov, Manitoba 


Ryan Stoa, Lake Erie


Defencemen 


T.J. Brodie, Abbotsford 


Brian Connelly, Rockford 


Maxim Noreau, Houston


Nathan Oystrick, Peoria


x-Paul Postma, Chicago 


Brendan Smith, Grand Rapids


x-Garrett Stafford, San Antonio 


Clay Wilson, Rochester 


Goaltenders 


x-Jake Allen, Peoria


Mark Dekanich, Milwaukee 


Curtis Sanford, Hamilton

2011 Eastern Conference AHL All-Stars 


Forwards 


Luke Adam, Portland 


Matt Anderson, Albany


Bobby Butler, Binghamton


x-Jonathan Cheechoo, Worcester 


x-Andrew Gordon, Hershey 


Johan Harju, Norfolk 


Dustin Jeffrey, W-B/Scranton 


x-Corey Locke, Binghamton 


Kyle Palmieri, Syracuse 


Rhett Rakhshani, Bridgeport 


Jerome Samson, Charlotte 


Jeremy Williams, Connecticut 


Defencemen 


Erik Gustafsson, Adirondack 


Steven Kampfer, Providence 


John Moore, Springfield 


x-Lawrence Nycholat, Hershey 


Bryan Rodney, Charlotte

Drew Schiestel, Portland 


Viatcheslav Voynov, Manchester 


x-Mark Wotton, Bridgeport (“C”) 


Goaltenders


Braden Holtby, Hershey 


Martin Jones, Manchester 


x-Brad Thiessen, W-B/Scranton

x = starters