Atkinson named to AHL All-Star team

Cam Atkinson

Courtesy Springfield Falcons

January 16, 2012

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Falcons, of the American Hockey League, announced on Jan. 4 that forward Cam Atkinson has been named to the Eastern Conference roster and will represent the Falcons at the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic.

This year’s event will take place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., from Jan. 29 to 30.

Atkinson is in his first full season of pro hockey and leads the Falcons in goals with 15 in 30 games this year. 

The Greenwich, Conn., native is second on the Falcons roster in scoring this year with 15 goals and 10 assists for 25 points, and he leads the club in power play goals with eight. Atkinson is also currently sixth in the league in rookie scoring.

“Cam’s just a dynamic player that can break a game open with his speed, his shot and his goal scoring ability,” Falcons President and General Manager Bruce Landon said. “Certainly he’s a worth choice to be our representative. He’s been snake-bitten on some games where he could have had three or four [goals], to be honest with you.”

Atkinson started the 2011-12 campaign with the Columbus Blue Jackets and scored his first National Hockey League goal on Oct. 10, 2011 against the Vancouver Canucks. Atkinson began his pro career with the Falcons at the end of last season making his debut on April 1, 2011 scoring the game-winning goal against the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. 

“He has great speed, he can open up the ice for us. He’s a wonderful kid, a hard worker, just a delight to have on your team,” Landon said. “He’s got an NHL career certainly waiting for him. How long we keep him, we don’t know, but when you have him, hopefully you can take advantage of him and he’s played very, very well for us. He’s been one of the very bright lights for us this whole season.”

Prior to turning pro, Atkinson played three seasons for the Boston College (BC) Eagles where he was a 2011 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate hockey player. He led BC in goals (31) and scoring with 52 points during the 2010-11 season, his second consecutive 30-goal campaign. 

Atkinson won a National Championship with BC and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player during the 2009-10 season. He was also named the team’s recipient of the Outstanding Freshman Award with BC in 2008-09.

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have added left wing Dane Byers to the roster on emergency recall from the Springfield Falcons, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate, club Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced recently.

Byers, 25, is scoreless with seven penalty minutes and is plus-1 in three games with Columbus this season. He has registered 8-11-19 and has 71 penalty minutes in 28 games with Springfield this season.

He ranks second on the Falcons in power play goals (five) and is tops in penalty minutes. He has appeared in nine career NHL games, including six with the New York Rangers, and has 1-0-1 and 38 penalty minutes.

A native of Nipawin, Saskatchewan, Canada, Byers was the Rangers’ fourth pick, 48th overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft. He made his professional debut with Hartford (AHL) in 2005-06 and has collected 92-127-219, 753 penalty minutes in 352 career AHL games with Hartford, Springfield and San Antonio.

Prior to his professional career, he notched 49-50-99 and 518 penalty minutes in 236 games with Price Albert of the Western Hockey League.

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