|Posted on January 25, 2015 at 1:45 PM|
West Valley City • The Utah Grizzlies hit the all-star break this week, and on Wednesday they'll get to sit back and watch one of their own play in the ECHL All-Star Game.
Rookie Alex Krushenlnyski will represent the Grizzlies in Orlando when the host Solar Bears square off with the league's all star team at 5 p.m. MST.
"I'm stoked and excited, it's an all-star game with the best players in the league," Krushenlnyski said. "I'm excited to go play and have some fun."
Krushelnyski has played 30 games for Utah this season, and has been a big part of Grizzlies' success with eight goals and 18 assists, good for 26 points.
"It is a big honor [to be selected]. I've had a lot of help from coach and teammates," said Krushenlnyski. "We have a high standard with a good groups of guys on the team and they are excited for me."
Alex scored 42 goals, recorded 59 Assists and had 101 points during his career at Colorado College. Then Grizzlies coach Tim Branham liked what he saw during preseason camp. Krushelnyski made one of the final roster spots for Utah when they opened their season.
"He [Branham] has a high expectation, which I like about him, he is consistently trying to make us good hockey players," Krushenlynski said. "He has done a really good job at making me a better player and I'm glad our paths crossed sooner than later in my career."
Krushelnyski has a game-winning goal in Alaska, and two short-handed goals this season.
"If he could do more of those [game winning goals] that would be great," said Branham jokingly. "He is a really good player and a hard worker and very skilled and he definitely deserves the all-star selection."
If you are a big NHL fan you probably recognize the Grizzly rookie's last name. Alex's father, Mike Krushelnyski, wa a three-time Stanley Cup champion when he played with the Edmonton Oilers (1985-88)
"If my dad was a doctor I would want to be a doctor, but he was a hockey player," Alex said. "He is constantly giving me tips and every time he is watching the game and he always wants me to get better."
Krushelnyski has been called up the AHL this season, where he has played in three games with the Norfolk Admirals. He knows he needs to fix a few areas of his game to keep climbing the hockey ladder — eventually, he hopes, to the NHL.
"The guys in the NHL are polished players that's why they are pros," he said. "My defensive game needs to be pristine, where I need to block a shot perfect and the rest of the game will come. Every day I'm trying to get better."
Branham had only one message for his rookie All-Star forward when he left for for Orlando.
"You go and work hard and play your game, and enjoy the moment. It will be a very neat experience that he will remember for the rest of his life," the Grizzlies coach said.