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Appleton and Niku Named to AHL All-Rookie Team

Winnipeg, MB – The Manitoba Moose Hockey Club, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced today forward Mason Appleton and defenceman Sami Niku have been named to the 2017-18 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Appleton, 22, leads the Moose with 61 points (21G, 40A) and six game-winning goals in 71 games this season.  He has already captured franchise records in assists and points by a rookie, and is the first Moose player to reach the 60-point plateau since the 2008-09 season.  The Green Bay, Wis. native leads all AHL rookies in scoring and is fourth in the league’s overall points race.  Appleton was previously honoured by the league as the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Nov. 19.  A sixth round, 168th overall, selection of the Winnipeg Jets in 2015, Appleton represented the Moose at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic.

Niku, 21, is tied for second on the Moose with 52 points (15G, 37A) in 71 games.  Like Appleton, Niku has already made his mark in the Moose record books with the most points by a rookie defenceman in franchise history.  His 52 points in 2017-18 are the fifth-most by a blue-liner in team history and most since the 2000-01 season.  A seventh round, 198th overall, selection of the Winnipeg Jets in 2015, Niku is tied for the AHL lead in points by a defenceman and features the best plus/minus rating among the league’s top six scoring defenders.  The Haapavesi, Finland native made his NHL debut with the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, scoring a goal in a 5-4 Jets victory.

The Moose put the wraps on their 2017-18 regular season home schedule this weekend when they host the Bakersfield Condors on Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.).  Tickets for both games are available at moosehockey.com/tickets.