Justin Schultz & Alex Plante Honored By The AHL

AHL Hockey: Mar 20 Barons Buddies at Andy Alligator's
Go Alex Go! Photo by Steven Christy.

Justin Schultz has been named to the AHL First Team All-Star group after making the AHL All-Rookie Team the day before.

Here’s the release:

For the second consecutive day, Edmonton Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz earned an AHL award. Today, Schultz was named a 2013 American Hockey League First Team All Star.

Schultz, a 6-2, 185-pounder from Kelowna, B.C signed with Edmonton last summer, but began the season with Oklahoma City and had an immediate impact with the Oilers’ AHL affiliate. He played in 34 games with the Barons and scored 48 points (18-30-48). That included a franchise record-tying 10-game point-scoring streak and a separate nine-game point-scoring streak.

This marks the third consecutive season the Barons have had a player named an AHL First Team All Star. Forward Alex Giroux was named to the 2010-11 team, while last season, goaltender Yann Danis earned the honor.

Although he hasn’t played in the AHL since January 5, Schultz still leads all AHL defensemen in points and was recently surpassed as the top rookie scorer in the league. He earned CCM / AHL Player of the Month honors for the month of October, CCM / AHL Rookie of the Month honors for the month of November and on April 10, he was named to the AHL’s All Rookie Team.

Schultz has continued his solid play with the Oilers. Through 40 games this season, he the top scoring rearguard on the team with 20 points (6-14-20).

Likewise, Alex Plante was honored for his commitment to local Oklahoma City charities as the Barons Man of the Year. He’ll be included in the running for the league-wide award named after Yanick Dupre.

I’d like to pause here briefly and celebrate the accomplishments of Alex Plante in this area. He’s struggled as a Baron/Oiler with consistency on the ice. But off the ice, he’s been the complete opposite. He’s the model of diligence and competence in areas that effect the soul of individuals. Head over to www.okcbarons.com to check out the release info on Alex and the subsequent videos. He’s a treasure in so many ways even when things get iffy on the ice. And for this, Alex Plante will always be a hero. Thanks Alex.

Here’s that release:

The Oklahoma City Barons are proud to announce that Alex Plante has been named the team’s winner of the IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to the Oklahoma City community during the 2012-13 season.

Plante, a 6-4, 215-pounder from Brandon, Manitoba is one of six players to have played in each of the three seasons the Barons have been in Oklahoma City. His impact in the community this season has been tremendous.

For the last two seasons, Plante and the rest of his teammates have worked with Special Olympics Oklahoma for on the Barons Buddies program. Barons Buddies pairs a Special Olympics athlete with a Barons player for a series of interactions throughout the season. This season, Plante was paired with Macey. The bond between the two extends beyond the four Barons Buddies events during the season. He has taken it upon himself to participate in family activities, including visiting Macey’s house on a regular basis and even attending her occupational therapy classes.

Because of his relationship with Macey, the Barons approached Alex about participating in a “Say no to the R Word” video for Special Olympics Oklahoma. Alex agreed and in his own words, voiced a Public Service Announcement discussing the hurt that can be caused by using the “R Word”. The video led to a feature story about their relationship on KFOR’s weekly feature Is This a Great State or What?.

In a much-less publicized relationship, Alex has embraced the Oklahoma City Youth Hockey Association. He partnered with former professional hockey player Stacey Bauman to serve as a volunteer hockey coach and mentor for two different groups of OKCYHA players.

Alex Plante is now one of 30 finalists for the AHL’s 2012-13 Yanick Dupre Memorial Award, honoring the overall IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year. The league award is named after the former Hershey Bears forward and AHL All-Star who died in 1997 following a 16-month battle with leukemia. The winner of the Yanick Dupre Memorial Award will be announced by the American Hockey League on Apr. 18.