The All-Star Game is right around the corner and here’s who we think should be heading to Las Vegas for the festivities.
The rules are to select seven forwards, three defenders and two goaltenders for each division and that each team has to have at least one representative. Our selections and reasoning are below.
F – Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs (Captain)
F – Jonathan Huberdeau, Panthers
F – Brad Marchand, Bruins
F – Tage Thompson, Sabres
F – Drake Batherson, Senators
F – Nick Suzuki, Canadiens
F – Steven Stamkos, Lightning
Last Cut – William Nylander, Maple Leafs
D – Moritz Seider, Red Wings
D – Aaron Ekblad, Panthers
D – Victor Hedman, Lightning
Last Cut – Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres
G – Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
G – Jack Campbell, Maple Leafs
Last Cut – Sergei Bobrovsky, Panthers
Florida Panthers – Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad
The Division-leading Panthers have plenty of options but Huberdeau sticks out as the obvious pick. Aleksander Barkov has missed 13 games due to injury, hurting his chances. Despite playing just 36:16 TOI with Barkov this season, Huberdeau has driven his own line with Sam Bennett and is on pace for his second career 30-goal season and a career-high 107 points.
Ekblad also cracks my Atlantic Division squad, ranking third among defensemen in goals (10) and tied for fifth in points (32). It’s impossible to leave him off.
Toronto Maple Leafs – Auston Matthews, Jack Campbell
Toronto nearly had three players on the team, but William Nylander narrowly missed out. He’s worth a shoutout as he’s on pace for 39 goals and 48 assists–both would crush his previous career-bests.
Matthews and Campbell were easy picks. Matthews is tied for third in the NHL in goals but is second in goals-per-game. He’s scoring a slightly lower rate than last year, but an 82-game season puts him on track for his first-ever 50-plus goal season. It’s only January and Campbell has already matched his career-high in starts (26) and broke his previous best in wins (18). Campbell leads the NHL in Goals Saved Above Expected (18.0), is second in SV% (.935), and third in GAA (2.02).
Tampa Bay – Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy
The back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions have three players representing their team. After battling injuries last year, Stamkos has been fully healthy this season, and his production is reminiscent of when he was in his prime. At 31-years-old, Stamkos is on pace for 37 goals and 59 assists (96 points), which would be his best season since 2019.
While Cale Makar is stealing all of the headlines, Hedman is quietly leading all defensemen with 38 points (7G / 31A). Vasilevskiy is just doing what Vasilevskiy does. Despite the Lightning battling injuries in the first three months of the season, Vasilevskiy is still tied for the league-lead in wins (20) while ranking sixth in GAA (2.19) and ninth in SV% (.924). This would be the fifth-straight season that Vasilevskiy led the NHL in wins.
Boston Bruins – Brad Marchand
David Pastrnak has finally caught fire, but it’s probably too little, too late for him to be named an All-Star for the second time. Marchand is the likely candidate for his fifth All-Star game, leading the Bruins in goals (16), assists (20), points (36), and points-per-game (1.33).
Detroit Red Wings – Moritz Seider
With so many talented forwards in the Atlantic, it will be difficult for Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond or Tyler Bertuzzi to crack the team. Moritz Seider seems to have the easiest path. He’s 11th among all defensemen in assists (21) and tied for 13th in points (24). Among rookies, he’s first in assists and third in points.
Buffalo Sabres – Tage Thompson
Thompson and Rasmus Dahlin are the two considerations for Buffalo, but Thompson deserves a lot of credit for tallying 12 goals and 11 assists (23 points) while playing on a team that is 27th in goal-scoring (2.57 GF/gm).
Ottawa Senators – Drake Batherson
Batherson has missed five games this season but still leads the Senators with 28 points (9G / 19A). The Senators have only played once since December 18th, so it’s easy to forget Batherson is on pace for 60 assists and 89 points.
Montreal Canadiens – Nick Suzuki
Trying to find an All-Star in Montreal this season was a difficult task. Suzuki was the only decent option, leading the team with 19 points (7G / 12A).
By Brock Seguin
F – Alex Ovechkin, Capitals (Captain)
F – Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes
F – Artemi Panarin, Rangers
F – Chris Kreider, Rangers
F – Jake Guentzel, Penguins
F – Claude Giroux, Flyers
F – Jesper Bratt, Devils
Last Cut – Evan Rodrigues, Penguins
D – Adam Fox, Rangers
D – John Carlson, Capitals
D – Zach Werenski, Blue Jackets
Last Cut – Jaccob Slavin, Hurricanes
G – Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
G – Ilya Sorokin, Islanders
Last Cut – Frederik Andersen, Hurricanes
The Metro Division is split in half this year. There are the good teams (Carolina, Washington, Pittsburgh and the Rangers) and there are the mediocre teams (Columbus, Philadelphia, New Jersey and the Islanders).
In order to ensure everybody has a representative, I’m going to start by picking one player from each of the mediocre teams.
Ilya Sorokin is the only player from the Islanders who’s deserving, so he’s one of my two goalies. Dougie Hamilton would be my pick for Jersey, but he’s injured, so their leading scorer Jesper Bratt makes it instead. A pair of star players, Claude Giroux and Zach Werenski, make it in for Philly and Columbus.
Now that we have those teams out of the way, we can fill out the rest of the roster with players from the good teams.
The captain is obviously Alex Ovechkin, who’s having one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 36. I also have a spot on the blueline for John Carlson, who has 32 points in 37 games.
The Rangers are going to be well represented. Igor Shesterkin is a no-brainer, as is 2021 Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox. Chris Kreider has 21 goals and makes the cut for me, and so does Artemi Panarin because he’s Artemi Panarin.
Sebastian Aho is my lone representative from Carolina, which feels wrong given how good they are. Freddy Andersen deserves to be there, but there isn’t room with the two New York goalies. I also considered Jaccob Slavin, who’s arguably the league’s most underrated defender, but he wasn’t more deserving than the other three.
Finally, Jake Guenzel is my rep for the Penguins. I would love to reward Evan Rodrigues for his breakout season, but that would involve removing Kreider or Panarin, which I just couldn’t do.
By Cam Lewis
F – Timo Meier, San Jose Sharks
F – Leon Draisatl, Edmonton Oilers
F – Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
F – Jordan Eberle, Seattle Kraken
F – J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks
F – Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
F – Troy Terry, Anaheim Ducks
D – Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
D – Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks
D – Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights
G – Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames
G – John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
Last Cut Goaltender – Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks
Anaheim Ducks – Troy Terry, John Gibson
The Anaheim Ducks have been a bit of a surprise this season, and who better to represent them at the All-Star Game than their leading goal scorer and highly-touted goaltender? Terry has 22 goals on the season already and Gibson boasts a .917 save percentage.
Calgary Flames – Johnny Gaudreau, Jacob Markstrom
After tallying 49 points in 56 games and 58 in 70 the season prior, Johnny Gaudreau is enjoying a bounce-back season of sorts this season in Calgary. The Flames forward is scoring at an over a point per game clip and Jacob Markstrom is once again proving himself as one of the best goaltenders in the sport and is a no-brainer to be a starter for the Pacific Division at the ASG.
Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid, Leon Draisatl
Speaking of no-brainers, it doesn’t get any easier than picking these two for the All-Star Games. They are arguably the two best offensive players in the sport, and the league should once again be jumping at the opportunity to showcase them on a bigger stage.
Los Angeles Kings – Drew Doughty
Drew Doughty is one of the players whose personality the NHL loves to market, especially at All-Star Games. The clip of him mic’d up struggling mightily in the passing skills competition remains one of the funniest moments in ASG history, and he’s almost certainly going to be LA’s sole representative at this year’s festivities.
San Jose Sharks – Timo Meier
This one is simple, really. Every team needs a representative, and Timo Meier is scoring at a higher pace than anybody on the Sharks.
Seattle Kraken – Jordan Eberle
Not much has gone right in Seattle during the Kraken’s inaugural season, but every team needs a representative, and Eberle is Seattle’s leading scorer. There’s also the potential for him to play alongside former Edmonton teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisatl.
Vancouver Canucks – Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller
J.T. Miller has come out this season and shown he’s one of the most versatile forwards in the league. He kills penalties, plays on the first power-play unit, and is a swiss army knife for the Canucks. He’s putting up points this season, and should be joined by Quinn Hughes, who is proving himself as one of the league’s premier defensemen.
Vegas Golden Knights – Alex Pietrangelo
Alex Pietrangelo firmly falls into the “no-brainer” category. He’s got six goals and 18 assists through 37 games this season and is a face and personality fans want to see at the ASG.
By David Quadrelli
Forward – Nazem Kadri, Colorado Avalanche
Forward – Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
Forward – Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Forward – Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues
Forward – Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Forward – Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars
Forward – Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
Last Cut Forward – Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars
Defense – Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
Defense – Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
Defense – Devon Toews, Colorado Avalanche
Last Cut Defenseman – Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks
Goaltender – Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
Goaltender – Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
Last Cut Goaltender – Karel Vejmelka, Arizona Coyotes
Colorado Avalanche – Nazem Kadri, Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar
The Avalanche are one of the league’s best teams for a reason. They’re led up front by a dynamic top six, and one of the best defencemen in the league in Cale Makar with Devon Toews not far behind. Nazem Kadri leads the team in points and is fourth in league scoring. His offensive output lands him his first all-star appearance, while Nathan MacKinnon’s incredible points per hour rate (4.21) earns his spot.
Nashville Predators – Juuse Saros, Roman Josi
I think there’s a forward or two who could sneak in there, but I couldn’t bring myself to pick one. Juuse Saros and Roman Josi are in the midst of some incredible campaigns. Saros has taken the reins as a starter and has been one of the best in the league. Josi, meanwhile, ranks second in scoring by defensemen.
St. Louis Blues – Jordan Kyrou
Kyrou’s had a great 2021-22 campaign so far scoring 14 goals and 36 points. He ranks in the top-20 for league scoring earning him his first all-star appearance.
Minnesota Wild – Kirill Kaprizov
Kirill The Thrill. He’s one of the most exciting players in the league to watch and is in the midst of another very successful year. He’ll be here for a while, folks.
Winnipeg Jets – Connor Hellebuyck
Hellebuyck is having another strong campaign helping backstop a volatile Jets club. In 27 games, he’s posted a 13-10-4 record, a .913 save percentage while saving 2.87 goals above expected.
Dallas Stars – Jason Robertson
He burst onto the scene last year and has kept it up this year. In 26 games, he’s scored 12 goals and 30 points on one of the best lines in the league. Linemate Joe Pavelski narrowly misses out.
Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane
While Chicago has struggled this year, Kane at 33 has continued to be a massive driver of offense for that team. It earns him his fourth all-star game appearance. Teammate Seth Jones finds himself narrowly missing out as a last cut on the backend.
Arizona Coyotes – Clayton Keller
One of the few bright spots on the Coyotes this year has been Clayton Keller, who has stepped up scoring 12 goals and 26 points. If there’s offense from that team, it’s likely coming through Keller in one way or another. His teammate Karel Vejmekla has been tremendous in net this year and while his win-loss record (3-13-1) may not show it, he’s kept his team competitive.
By Zach Laing