April 1, 2010

Carlson headlines AHL rookie team

Alex Stalock of the Worcester Sharks (photo: Dan Hickling)

Hershey Bears defenseman John Carlson (Natick, Mass.), Portland Pirates forward Tyler Ennis, Worcester Sharks forward Logan Couture and Sharks goalie Alex Stalock were all named to the AHL’s All-Rookie team on Wednesday.

A first-round draft choice (27th overall) by the Washington Capitals in 2008, the 20-year-old Carlson has flourished in 2009-10 after making his pro debut with Hershey during the 2009 postseason. He ranks fourth among AHL rookie defensemen with 39 points (4-35-39) in just 48 AHL games, and his plus-37 rating is good for a share of third place in the entire league.

Ennis has been a fixture near the top of the AHL’s rookie scoring list all season, currently setting the pace in goals (23), assists (42) and points (65) in 69 games for Portland. The 20-year-old All-Star Game MVP also leads AHL rookies with 30 power-play points (9-21-30) to help the Pirates to the league’s fourth-ranked unit.

Couture, 21, registered a point in 21 of his first 24 AHL games this season and has never looked back, totaling 20-33-53 in 42 contests to rank among the AHL’s rookie leaders in goals and points. Drafted ninth overall by San Josein 2007, Couture leads all first-year pros with nine game-winning goals and has put together 15 multiple-point efforts for Worcester.

Stalock has been a workhorse in net for Worcester this season, posting a 37-16-2 record while appearing in 56 of the Sharks’ 73 games to date. His league-leading 37 victories are the most ever by an AHL rookie, and the South St. Paul, Minn., native also ranks among the AHL’s top five goaltenders in minutes played (3,266), saves (1,414) and shots faced (1,557).

Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman P.K. Subban and Peoria Rivermen forward Lars Eller round out the All-Rookie team.