The American Hockey League has formally announced that Checkers coach Mike Vellucci will represent the Atlantic Division at the upcoming All-Star Classic.
Vellucci, who has coached the Checkers to a league-best 51 points this season, clinched the honor on Dec. 22 with a win over Bridgeport that ensured his team would hold the division’s best record on today’s date. This is the first All-Star appearance for Vellucci, who has posted a 70-34-7 record in his only two AHL seasons with Charlotte.
This marks the second time a Checkers coach has earned AHL All-Star recognition, with Jeff Daniels one of two coaches to represent the Western Conference in 2013.
Vellucci, who returned to coaching with the Checkers in 2017 after three seasons of focusing solely on his continuing duties as an assistant general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, is a two-time coach of the year in the Ontario Hockey League. During a 13-year tenure with that league’s Plymouth Whalers that produced one league championship in 2007, he coached several players that went on to notable NHL careers including Tyler Seguin, James Neal, Michal Neuvirth, Vincent Trocheck, Tom Wilson and Rickard Rakell.
The 2019 All-Star Classic will take place in Springfield on Jan. 27-28. The league will announce playing rosters at a later date.