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Three AHL All-Stars highlight group of nine signees

American Hockey League All-Stars Brad Hunt, Morgan Ellis and Andrew Agozzino are among a group of nine players to sign deals with the St. Louis Blues. Defenseman Chris Butler and forward Jacob Doty, both of whom played for the Chicago Wolves the last two seasons, also are among those to agree to one-year, two-way contracts.

Hunt, a 27-year-old defenseman, began his professional career with the Wolves in 2012. He posted 5 goals and 33 assists in 79 games for Chicago while earning his first AHL All-Star appearance in 2013. After signing with the Edmonton Oilers organization prior to the 2013-14 season, Hunt amassed 43 goals and 99 assists in 185 AHL games as well as 1 goal and 2 assists in 21 NHL appearances for Edmonton. Hunt was voted a Second Team AHL All-Star in 2013-14 and a First Team AHL All-Star in 2014-15 and appeared in the 2015 and 2016 AHL All-Star Classics.

Ellis, 24, ranked second among all AHL defensemen last season with 16 goals. He added 26 assists for the St. John’s IceCaps while earning a place in the 2016 AHL All-Star Classic. Ellis also made his NHL debut as he appeared in 3 games for the Montreal Canadiens.

Agozzino, 25, has delivered 79 goals and 115 assists in 266 AHL games for the Lake Erie Monsters and San Antonio Rampage. The 2013 AHL All-Star Classic participant also contributed 2 assists in 9 games last season for the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.

The 29-year-old Butler, who has 387 NHL games on his career ledger, contributed 4 goals and 14 assists in 46 games for the Wolves last season. Doty, 23, accumulated 4 goals, 4 assists and a team-high 163 penalty minutes in 53 games last year for the Wolves.


Center Alex Friesen in 2012-13. (Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves)

Center Alex Friesen is the fourth player in this group with Wolves experience. As a professional rookie in 2012-13, Friesen contributed 1 goal and 4 assists in 42 games. In the three years since, the 25-year-old notched 30 goals and 51 assists in 179 games for the AHL’s Utica Comets. He also played in 1 game last season for the Vancouver Canucks.

Kenny Agostino, a 24-year-old Morristown, N.J., native, joins the organization after racking up 23 goals and 34 assists in 65 games last year for the AHL’s Stockton Heat. The left wing has made 10 appearances for the NHL’s Calgary Flames, which includes his first NHL goal on April 4, 2014, against Florida’s Roberto Luongo.

Wade Megan, 25, led the AHL last season with 7 shorthanded goals while playing center for the Portland Pirates. The Canton, N.Y., native finished the year with 14 goals, 9 assists and a +10 plus/minus rating in 75 games.

While the first eight members of this group signed one-year deals, forward Conner Bleackley signed a three-year entry-level contract. The 20-year-old from High River, Alberta, was the Colorado Avalanche’s first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — two selections after former Wolves forward Robby Fabbri and 10 picks ahead of current Wolves forward Ivan Barbashev — but he did not sign a professional contract.

Bleackley returned to the NHL Entry Draft last month and was selected in the fifth round by St. Louis. He recorded 13 goals and 33 assists in 55 games for the Red Deer Rebels in the Western Hockey League and ranked fifth in points for the team that hosted the Memorial Cup.