The NHL announced its All-Star game selections today, and only one Vancouver Canuck is guaranteed to be taking part in the festivities in St. Louis the weekend of January 24.
To no one’s surprise, that one player is Elias Pettersson, the Canucks phenom who has shown no sign of a sophomore slump, putting up 41 points in 40 games.
The NHL’s hockey operations department selects nine players for each division, to go along with a team captain voted by the fans and another fan vote called Last Man In (voting for that starts January 1 and closes on the 10th).
The Pacific Division results are as follows:
Every team automatically gets at least one player on the roster, so it’s interesting to note which teams scored multiple selections.
In the Pacific, that was just the Edmonton Oilers, who added Leon Draisatl, second in league scoring, to Connor McDavid (first in scoring), who was voted captain by the fans.
The only other team to add two? The Calgary Flames, who are sending both Matthew Tkachuk and Mark Giordano.
Canucks fans might be questioning exactly why Giordano is on the team instead of, say, Quinn Hughes. Hughes has been a revelation in his first season with the Canucks, posting 28 points in 39 games and generally looking dominant every night.
Former Norris Trophy winner Giordano, meanwhile, has had something of an off-year. He’s only put up 19 points in 41 contests. Curiously, Giordano is the only blueliner selected for the Pacific Division.
Hughes is the Canucks’ option for the Last Man In vote in the Pacific. He’s facing a litany of talented forwards, as well as Los Angeles Kings rearguard Drew Doughty (25 points in 41 games).
Is the NHL not huge on sending rookies if they’re the second players on their own team? Pettersson and Brock Boeser made it in their rookie years as the only Canucks on the team, but with Hughes not making it on and Avalanche rookie Cale Makar missing out despite being inarguably one of the better rearguards in the league, it’s a question worth asking.
Another player on the Canucks who probably deserves recognition but won’t be getting any (unless there’s an injury) is goaltender Jacob Markstrom.
The backbone of the team on many nights, Markstrom is sporting a .919 save percentage with 13 wins. He lost out to Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes, which is no surprise. Kuemper has been one of the better ‘tenders on the year with a .929 save percentage and 15 victories.
The other keeper selected to the Pacific roster was Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights. Fleury has a .912 save percentage with 15 wins. It’s a bit of an odd choice, honestly, and one can’t help but feel Markstrom was a little snubbed here.
Though that would cause a chain reaction of sorts that would result in Vegas having to send someone else.
In any case, it’s easy to see Canucks fans flooding the ballot box for Quinn Hughes to make it on the team. He deserves it, after all. Again, voting commences on January 1 and goes until the 10th. The maximum number of ballots cast per 24-hour period for each fan is 10.
Vote early, vote often.
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