The Manitoba Moose have already had a nine-game winning streak, a 16-game points streak (featuring just one loss in extra time), and currently boast a record of 39-24-4-4, with two players inside the league’s top 20 scorers.
Things became that much sweeter for the Moose on Wednesday as the AHL announced it’s All-Rookie Team. Leading the way, with two of the six selected players were the Moose.
Alongside four other first-year American Leaguers, forward Mason Appleton and defenceman Sami Niku of Manitoba were selected as the AHL’s top rookies.
Niku, a recent NHL call-up is currently tied for first in AHL defencemen scoring, with 15 goals and 52 points in 71 games played. The 21-year-old is also second on the Moose in scoring, and has produced the most points by a rookie defenceman in Manitoba Moose history. Niku was drafted in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Appleton – the man whom Niku trails in points on the Moose – is also having a whale of year for Manitoba. The 22-year-old has 21 goals and 40 assists on the year, setting franchise records for assists and points as a rookie in the process. Appleton currently sits fourth in league scoring and is first in rookie scoring. The Jets chose Appleton one pick before they selected Niku in the 2015 draft.
Niku and Appleton will join Ville Husso, Filip Hronek, Daniel Strong and Dylan Strome as 2017-18 AHL All-Rookies.
By Carter Brooks
Graphic created by the AHL