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Expanded All-Star Ballot 2018 - Atlantic Division

It’s time to vote on All-Stars for the 2018 All-Star Game. Here’s a larger list of players I, by my arbitrary criteria, deem worthy of considering for votes. Up first, the Atlantic Division.

NHL: New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

This list includes, in addition to every non-rookie on the official ballot, high-scoring players not on the ballot, lower-scoring players with nonetheless strong numbers, contributing fan favourites, “legacy” picks who have had great seasons in the recent past, and team captains. Each player is listed with a brief explanation of why they’re on the list. I will also list their prior All-Star appearances where applicable. All information is accurate to December 7.

The Ballot

Boston Bruins

Brandon Carlo (Defenceman-25)

0G, 4A, 4 PTS, 50.1 ESCF% in 25 GP

After scoring only 16 points last season, Carlo is clearly not a point-producing defenceman. What he has done well is driving play when he’s on the ice. He is on pace for 13 points (0G, 13A) in 82 games.

Carlo has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Zdeno Chara (Defenceman-33)

3G, 4A, 7 PTS, 50.8 ESCF% in 25 GP

Chara may be in decline at age 40, with little in the way of offensive production to be had, but he’s still an effective defenceman at his age and is still posting decent underlying numbers this season. He is on pace for 23 points (10G, 13A) in 82 games.

Chara represented Ottawa in the 2003 All-Star Game and Boston in the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 All-Star Games.

Patrice Bergeron (Centre-37)

5G, 10A, 15 PTS, 59.0 ESCF% in 20 GP

Bergeron’s post-lockout career has been a tale of boom and bust seasons, alternating between seasons of “he’s scoring a lot” and just “he’s great defensively”. To be clear, that’s just from an offensive standpoint, as he’s always great defensively. This season seemed to be a particularly big boom in the making, as he was hovering around the point-per-game level a half a month ago, but may wind up subverting the trend instead, as he is on pace for 58 points (19G, 39A) in 77 games..

Bergeron represented Boston in the 2015 and 2016 All-Star Games.

Tuukka Rask (Goaltender-40)

5-8-2, 0.906 Save%, 1 SO in 16 GP

Rask is having a very rough go on a struggling Bruins team this season, but is coming off a 0.915 Save% season with a career-high eight shutouts. He is on pace for a 16-26-7 record in 52 games.

Rask represented Boston in the 2017 All-Star Game.

David Backes (Right Winger-42)

0G, 2A, 2 PTS, 50.6 ESCF% in 8 GP

Off the roster with injury and anemic in his small amount of playing time this season, Backes gets on this list mainly on the strength of his stint with the Blues, such as his 31-goal 62-point run in 2011 or his 58 points in 2015. He is on pace for 16 points (0G, 16A) in 65 games.

Backes represented St. Louis in the 2011 All-Star Game.

David Krejci (Centre-46)

3G, 7A, 10 PTS, 45.9 ESCF% in 13 GP

Krejci is another player who has missed some of the season with injury for the unfortunate Bruins, but unlike the snakebitten Backes, Krejci was scoring a point per game when he went down. He is on pace for 54 points (16G, 38A) in 70 games.

Krejci has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Torey Krug (Defenceman-47)

4G, 10A, 14 PTS, 53.0 ESCF% in 21 GP

The prediction entering this season was that Krug would be unable to repeat his 51-point season last year, as rookie Charlie McAvoy was joining the team full-time and of course would take up most of the power play time Krug was scoring during. It was a valid concern, as power play production accounted for half of his offence last season. However, Krug is on pace for a career-high of 52 points (15G, 37A) in 78 games, scoring mostly at even strength.

Krug has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Brad Marchand (Left Winger-63)

9G, 11A, 20 PTS, 59.5 ESCF% in 74 GP

In the past three seasons, Marchand improved from 24 goals and 42 points, to 37 goals and 61 points, to 39 goals and 85 points. If his current pace, 87 points (39G, 48A) in 74 games, continues, he’d slightly eclipse his point record and match his goal record.

Marchand represented Boston in the 2017 All-Star Game.

David Pastrnak (Right Winger-88)

14G, 10A, 24 PTS, 54.7 ESCF% in 25 GP

Last season saw Pastrnak bounce back from a bad sophomore slump and score 34 goals and 70 points. Pastrnak has become Boston’s signature offensive star. He is on pace for 79 points (46G, 33A) in 82 games.

Pastrnak has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Buffalo Sabres

Marco Scandella (Defenceman-6)

0G, 5A, 5 PTS, 49.1 ESCF% in 28 GP

Scandella’s point production fell last season and is so far not recovering, currently on pace for 15 points (0G, 15A) in 82 games. However, Scandella scored 23 and 21 points in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and his underlying numbers have improved steadily and he’s one of the better Corsi players for Buffalo.

Scandella has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Evander Kane (Left Wing-9)

13G, 12A, 25 PTS, 52,2 ESCF% in 28 GP

The 2015/16 season, which saw Kane’s first NHL action as a member of the Sabres, saw Kane return to the 20-goal plateau. The following season saw him jump to just under 30 goals, which he hasn’t gotten since 2012. This season could potentially see Kane realize his first-line potential, as he is on pace for 73 points (38G, 35A) in 82 games.

Kane has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Jack Eichel (Centre-15)

8G, 14A, 22 PTS, 50.8 ESCF% in 28 GP

Eichel’s sophomore season saw Eichel match his career-high of 24 goals and set a new career-high of 57 points, one more than his total as a rookie, despite playing 20 fewer games. The top-line centre is producing like a first-line talent so far, on pace for 64 points (23G, 41A) in 82 games.

Eichel has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Kyle Okposo (Right Wing-21)

3G, 8A, 11 PTS, 51.7 ESCF% in 26 GP

In his first season as a member of the Sabres, Okposo scored a respectable 45 points in 65 games. It’s with the Islanders that he’s done the majority of his damage so far though, with two 60-point seasons as a member of the Isles. This season, he’s on pace for 34 points (9G, 25A) in 80 games.

Okposo represented Buffalo in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Zemgus Girgensons (Centre-28)

1G, 2A, 3 PTS, 45.1 ESCF% in 24 GP

I’ve still got Girgensons on my All-Star list based on his 15-goal 30-point season in 2014/15, which saw him lead all players in All-Star votes on the strength of a grassroots campaign out of his native Latvia. This season, he’s on pace for nine points (3G, 6A) in 78 games.

Girgensons represented Buffalo in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Jason Pominville (Right Winger-29)

7G, 8A, 15 PTS, 52.7 ESCF% in 28 GP

This is Pominville’s second stint with the Sabres. His first saw him eclipse the 60-point mark five times, including two 70-point seasons, one of which was an 80-point season. It also saw six 20-goal campaigns, of which two were 30-goal seasons. His numbers weren’t at a first-line level after his 30-goal 60-point campaign with Minnesota in 2015, but his offensive numbers have rebounded so far after his return to Buffalo. This season, he’s on pace for 44 points (21G, 23A) in 82 games.

Pominville represented Buffalo in the 2012 All-Star Game.

Chad Johnson (Goaltender-31)

1-5-2, 0.883 Save%, 0 GA in 11 GP

Johnson is a backup goaltender with Buffalo this season, but was part of a surprisingly effective tandem last season. Johnson posted an 18-15-1 record and 0.910 Save% largely on the strength of a strong first half. This season, he is on pace for a 3-15-6 record in 32 games.

Johnson has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Robin Lehner (Goaltender-40)

6-12-2, 0.906 Save%, 1 SO in 21 GP

In his first season not hampered by injury, Lehner posted respectable numbers. He had a 23-26-8 record and a 0.920 Save% in 59 games. This season, he is on pace for an 18-35-6 record in 62 games.

Lehner has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Zach Bogosian (Defenceman-47)

0G, 0A, 0 PTS, 58.9 ESCF% in 3 GP

In 2015/16, Bogosian scored 24 points in 64 games, the most since he scored 30 in 2011/12, and a pace a would-be career-high of 31 points. In 2016/17, Bogosian had a 2.34 Corsi%Rel. This season, he is on pace for 0 points (0G, 0A) in 57 games (duh).

Bogosian has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Rasmus Ristolainen (Defenceman-55)

0G, 7A, 7 PTS, 51.9 ESCF% in 19 GP

There is perhaps no other player in the NHL today for whom there is such a massive gulf between what the eye test says about him and what the statistics say. Despite impressive offensive performances, Ristolainen has had bad underlying numbers. Perhaps the tide is changing. After having finished the last two seasons with 41 and 45 points, Ristolainen, with a goal drought-driven drop in production, has a Corsi% above to 50 and a Corsi%Rel of +3.7. He is on pace for 27 points (0G, 27A) in 73 games.

Ristolainen has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Nathan Beaulieu (Defenceman-82)

0G, 3A, 3 PTS, 52.6 ESCF% in 20 GP

Beaulieu showed a lot of promise last year with 28 points for Montreal, and while the points haven’t been there for Beaulieu, his Corsi numbers have been very strong to start. This season, he is on pace for 11 points (0G, 11A) in 74 games.

Beaulieu has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Ryan O’Reilly (Centre-90)

7G, 11A, 18 PTS, 47.8 ESCF% in 28 GP

O’Reilly has been one of Buffalo’s offensive centrepieces since he joined them. In two seasons, O’Reilly has 115 points in 143 games. This season, he is on pace for 53 points (21G, 32A) in 82 games.

O’Reilly represented Buffalo in the 2016 All-Star Game.

Detroit Red Wings

Justin Abdelkader (Right Wing-8)

5G, 13A, 18 PTS, 51.4 ESCF% in 27 GP

While not quite an All-Star offensive producer, Abdelkader contributes well to Detroit as a physical checking winger. His offensive game has improved as he’s approached and reached 30 years of age, and he finished with over 40 points twice in a row prior to last season. He is having a rebound season this year, on pace for 54 points (15G, 39A) in 81 games.

Abdelkader has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Gustav Nyquist (Right Wing-14)

8G, 7A, 15 PTS, 47.4 ESCF% in 82 GP

In terms of raw numbers, Nyquist hasn’t had a great season since 2014/15, when he scored 27 goals and 54 points. In terms of rate stats, he hasn’t had a great season since 2013/14, when he scored 28 goals and 48 points in 57 games, a 40-goal and 69-point pace. This season he’s on pace for 44 points (23G, 21A) in 82 games.

Nyquist has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Tomas Tatar (Left Wing-21)

8G, 5A, 13 PTS, 51.4 ESCF% in 28 GP

Tatar had a down season last year, but topped 20 goals and 45 points in each of the prior seasons. In 2014/15, he scored 29 goals and 59 points. This season, he is on pacer for 38 points (23G, 15A) in 82 games.

Tatar has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Mike Green (Defenceman-25)

2G, 16A, 18 PTS, 46.9 ESCF% in 82 GP

After two straight 30+ seasons for the Red Wings, and six years since he last got more than 50, much less 60, Green seems to be back offensively. He’s not in his 30-goal form, and so is looking like your garden variety top-pairing offensive defenceman, sitting 13th among NHL defencemen in points and on pace for 53 points (6G, 47A) in 82 games.

Green represented Washington in the 2011 All-Star Game.

Petr Mrazek (Goaltender-34)

2-4-1, 0.891 Save%, 1 SO in 9 GP

Mrazek had a very bad 2016/17 season, but prior seasons show him on track to being a bona fide NHL starter. He posted a 0.921 Save% in 2015/16. He’s having a poor year this season, on pace for a 6-12-3 record in 26 games.

Mrazek has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Jimmy Howard (Goaltender-35)

9-8-4, 0.910 Save%, 0 SO in 23 GP

While Howard, Detroit’s starter in the closing years of their 25-year dynasty, claiming the starting role after their last Cup Final appearance, appeared to be on his way out entering last season, Howard managed to hold on with a 0.927 Save% in 26 games and has reclaimed the starting job. This season, he is on pace for a 26-23-12 record in 0.910 Save%.

Howard represented Detroit in the 2012 All-Star Game.

Anthony Mantha (Left Wing-39)

12G, 10A, 22 PTS, 49.8 ESCF% in 28 GP

After a handful of seasons of everyone writing him off as a bust whose junior numbers were inflated by weak QMJHL competition because he didn’t light up the AHL, Mantha was finally forced onto the Red Wings roster as they approached their first non-playoff season since 1990. That season he posted an impressive 36 points in 60 games. This season he’s on pace for 64 points (35G, 29A) in 82 games.

Mantha has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Henrik Zetterberg (Left Wing-40)

4G, 12A, 16 PTS, 47.3 ESCF% in 28 GP

Zetterberg has been aging remarkably well the last few years. Just last season he finished the season with 68 points. This season, though a down year for the 37-year-old, still sees him sitting fifth in team scoring and on pace for 47 points (12G, 35A) in 82 games.

Zetterberg has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Frans Nielsen (Centre-51)

7G, 4A, 11 PTS, 50.4 ESCF% in 28 GP

After scoring 58 points in 2013/14 and 52 points in 2015/16 for the Islanders, Nielsen played in his first All-Star Game for Detroit last season as their lone representative. This season, he is on pace for 33 points (21G, 12A) in 82 games.

Nielsen represented Detroit in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Niklas Kronwall (Defenceman-55)

2G, 6A, 8 PTS, 51.5 ESCF% in 25 GP

Kronwall, who turns 37 years old this January, isn’t having a great season offensively, but I can’t leave off the Red Wings’ longtime top defenceman and repeat presence on this list (this reasoning comes up a few times on this list). He is posting mildly better Corsi numbers than the last couple seasons, currently sitting just above 50% at even strength. His offensive numbers were bad last season, only 13 points in 57 games. The season before, he scored 26 points in 64 games, a 34-point pace. He scored 44 points the season prior, and 49 points the year before that. This season, he is on pace for 25 points (6G, 19A) in 79 games.

Kronwall has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Danny DeKeyser (Defenceman-65)

0G, 0A, 0 PTS, 44.4 ESCF% in 11 GP

DeKeyser’s stats may look pretty bad across the board, but I blame the coaching of Jeff Blashill. In 2014/15, the second-to-last season Detroit made the playoffs, and their last under Mike Babcock, DeKeyser scored two goals and 31 points and posted a 53.6 ESCorsi%. He is on pace for 0 points (0G, 0A) in 65 games.

DeKeyser has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Dylan Larkin (Centre-71)

4G, 9A, 23 PTS, 52.9 ESCF% in 28 GP

Last season saw Larkin fall to 17 goals and 32 points, but he’s rebounding and is second in team scoring. As a rookie in 2015/16, he scored 23 goals and 45 points, played in the All-Star Game, and set the new “lap of the rink” record in the reformatted Fastest Skater competition. This season, he’s on pace for 68 points (12G, 56A) in 82 games.

Larkin represented Detroit in the 2016 All-Star Game.

Andreas Athanasiou (Centre-72)

5G, 5A, 10 PTS, 45.4 ESCF% in 18 GP

The young forward wasn’t signed this season until October 20. It’s been worth it so far. He scored 18 goals and 29 points in 64 games last season, and is on pace for 40 points (20G, 20A) in 72 games.

Athanasiou has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Florida Panthers

Roberto Luongo (Goaltender-1)

6-6-1, 0.928 Save%, 1 SO

Luongo has aged remarkably well for a goaltender. Since the lockout, Luongo has finished with a save percentage of at least 0.919 three times. The only times he didn’t were his 0.907 Save% in 2013 and his 0.915 Save% last season. He is on pace for 18-18-3 record in 46 games.

Luongo represented Florida in the 2004, 2015, and 2016 All-Star Games and Vancouver in the 2007 and 2009 All-Star Games.

Keith Yandle (Defenceman-3)

3G, 13A, 16 PTS, 51.1 ESCF% in 27 GP

Yandle isn’t a great play-driver against elite competition, and that requires him to be sheltered. But that’s okay, because when he gets sheltered minutes, he generally racks up a lot of points. He eclipsed 50 points twice as a member of the Coyotes and once more the season he was traded to the Rangers. He also scored 47 points in his season with the Rangers. He scored 41 points for Florida last season and is on pace 48 points (9G, 39A) in 82 games this season.

Yandle represented Phoenix in the 2011 and 2012 All-Star Games.

Aaron Ekblad (Defenceman-5)

4G, 6A, 10 PTS, 51.8 ESCF%, in 27 GP

Last season saw Ekblad disappoint with 21 points in 68 games last season, a 25-point pace. The seasons before, however, saw him score 12 goals and a career-high 39 points, and 36 points and a career-high 15 goals, respectively. Ekblad is on pace for 30 points (12G, 18A) in 82 games, more than last season, but fewer than the year before.

Ekblad represented Florida in the 2015 and 2016 All-Star Games.

Jonathan Huberdeau (Left Wing-11)

8G, 18A, 26 PTS, 54.6 ESCF% in 27 GP

Huberdeau’s stats have looked mediocre the past few seasons. However, they’re better than they look. His 59 points in 76 games in 2016 prorate to 64 points. His 26 points in 31 games last season prorate to 69 points. He’s scored just under a point per game this season and is on pace for 79 points (24G, 55A) in 82 games.

Huberdeau has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Aleksander Barkov (Centre-16)

10G, 16A, 26 PTS, 54.2 ESCF% in 27 GP

Like Huberdeau above, Barkov’s production has been better than a glance at his point totals would suggest. His 59 points in 66 games in 2016 prorate to 73 points. His 52 points in 61 games last season prorate to 70 points. Like Huberdeau, Barkov is currently scoring just under a point a game, and is on pace for 79 points (30G, 49A) in 82 games.

Barkov has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Derek MacKenzie (Centre-17)

0G, 4A, 4 PTS, 45.5 ESCF% in 22 GP

MacKenzie is not an All-Star. Whether one looks at his offensive production or his underlying numbers, he’s bad by basically any measure. Still, he’s a team captain, and anyone wearing a “C” goes on this list. He is on pace for 14 points (0G, 14A) in 77 games.

MacKenzie has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Vincent Trocheck (Centre-21)

10G, 17A, 27 PTS, 49.2 ESCF% in 27 GP

Trocheck has emerged as an excellent no.2 centre for the Panthers, finishing the last two seasons with 53 and 54 points, respectively. He’s currently scoring a point per game, and if he keeps it up, Florida’s got two no.1 centres on their hands. He is on pace for 82 points (30G, 52A) in 82 games.

Trocheck represented Florida in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Nick Bjugstad (Centre-27)

7G, 6A, 13 PTS, 51.4 ESCF% in 27 GP

Bjugstad led the Panthers in scoring back in 2013/14 with 38 points. He was also my pick to represent Florida in the 2015 All-Star Game. He finished that season with a career-high 43 points, and while he followed that up with seasons of 34 and 14 points, he’s back in form this season, on pace for 39 points (21G, 18A) in 82 games.

Bjugstad has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

James Reimer (Goaltender-34)

4-6-3, 0.892 Save%, 0 SO in 14 GP

Though you wouldn’t know it from his numbers this season, Reimer is very good goaltender. He posted a 0.920 Save% between Toronto and San Jose in 2015/16, and a 0.922 Save% in 43 games for Florida last season. His poor numbers in 10 games this season aside, Reimer gives the quality play of an NHL starter when Luongo is down, as he was last season. He is on pace for a 12-18-9 record in 43 games.

Reimer has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Evgenii Dadonov (Right Wing-63)

7G, 11A, 18 PTS, 57.2 ESCF% in 22 GP

Dadonov’s first go-around in the NHL didn’t work out so well. He scored a respectable 17 points in 36 games in 2010/11 for the Panthers, but wound up failing to live up to that promise the following season. He spent part of the season in the AHL, was traded to Carolina and wasn’t back in the NHL afterward. His first name was also transliterated with two “i”s at the end (seriously, what’s up with that?). After a strong five-year run in the KHL, culminating with 66 points in 53 games for SKA St. Petersburg. He’s brought that scoring touch back to the NHL, scoring on pace for 63 points (24G, 39A) in 77 games.

Dadonov has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Radim Vrbata (Right Wing-71)

3G, 8A, 11 PTS, 41.7 ESCF% in 22 GP

Vrbata scored 31 goals and a career-high 63 points in 2014/15, and while he hasn’t gotten anywhere near that since, he went from 27 points to 55 in his return last season to Arizona. He’s on pace for much closer to last season’s total than the season prior, but is still only on pace for 38 points (10G, 28A) in 77 games.

Vrbata represented Vancouver in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Jared McCann (Centre-90)

4G, 3A, 7 PTS, 48.3 ESCF% in 71 GP

After scoring only 18 points as a rookie and playing only 29 games following his trade to Florida as a sophomore, McCann has emerged as one of Florida’s better offensive producers. McCann was on pace for just over 50 points in mid-November, though is on pace for 31 points (18G, 13A) in 71 games.

McCann has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Montreal Canadiens

Shea Weber (Defenceman-6)

6G, 10A, 16 PTS, 54.0 ESCF% in 22 GP

Weber is reliable for between 40 and 50 points every season. After scoring 51 points for Nashville in 2015/16, he scored 42 points for Montreal last season, his lowest in a non-lockout season since 2007/08, when he scored 20 points. In terms of Corsi, his numbers have been above 50% for most of his seasons, aside from a few years after his late-2000s partner Suter left. This season, he is on pace for 54 points (20G, 34A) in 75 games.

Weber represented Nashville in the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 All-Star Games and Montreal in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Brendan Gallagher (Right Wing-11)

13G, 6A, 19 PTS, 53.2 ESCF% in 29 GP

Last season, Gallagher had a down season with 29 points in 64 games. The season before, however, he scored 19 goals and 40 points in 53 games, a 30-goal 62-point pace. This season, Gallagher is rebounding and is on pace for 54 points (37G, 14A) in 82 games.

Gallagher has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Tomas Plekanec (Centre-14)

3G, 10A, 13 PTS, 50.4 ESCF% in 29 GP

Plekanec, 35, is in the down years of his career after finishing last season with 28 points. The season before, he scored 54 points, and the season before he scored 60. This season, he’s on pace for a minor rebound, 36 points (8G, 28A) in 82 games.

Plekanec has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Jeff Petry (Defenceman-26)

3G, 6A, 9 PTS, 51.9 ESCF% in 29 GP

Petry has, in his time in the NHL, been a solid puck-mover, complementing scoring blueliners well while not really racking numbers of his own. He is coming off a career-high 28 points and is on pace for 25 points (8G, 17A) in 82 games this season. His Corsi percentages have been well over 50% since he joined the Canadiens.

Petry has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Alex Galchenyuk (Centre-27)

6G, 10A, 16 PTS, 48.8 ESCF% in 29 GP

Galchenyuk’s career with Montreal has been a tale of misuse and misjudgement. He is currently on pace for 45 points (17G, 28A) in 82 games and is ninth among team forwards in TOI per game, largely playing bottom-six minutes and/or in the Habs’ bottom-six. That’s despite the fact he finished the 2015/16 season with 30 goals and 57 points in mostly fitting usage. He finished last season with 44 points in 61 games, a 59-point pace.

Galchenyuk has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Carey Price (Goaltender-31)

8-8-1, 0.903 Save%, 1 SO in 17 GP

Price is currently out with a lower-body injury, and many are worrying about whether it will be a long-term injury like in 2015/16. The 2015 Vezina and Hart Trophy winner is the best goaltender when he’s in play. He is on pace for a 23-23-3 record in 48 games.

Price represented Montreal in the 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2017 All-Star Games.

Antti Niemi (Goaltender-37)

0-4-1, 0.845 Save%, 0 SO in 7 GP

Niemi has become a bit of a joke in recent years. He posted respectable numbers for San Jose, even as recently as 2015, but as soon as they found someone younger, they let him go. He’s bounced around and posted weak numbers, but he’s performed well since he was claimed off waivers by Montreal due to Price’s absence. He gets on this list based on his history as a starting netminder. This season, he is on pace for a 0-11-3 record in 20 games overall.

Paul Byron (Left Wing-41)

9G, 4A, 13 PTS, 49.9 ESCF% in 82 GP

Last season, Byron was probably the best player in the NHL who had been acquired off waivers. His 22 goals, 21 assists, and 43 points blew his previous career-highs of 11 goals, 14 assists, and 21 points out of the water. He is on pace for 36 points (25G, 11A) in 82 games It’s more goals than he scored last season, though the Habs in general are pretty bad this season, hurting his assist totals.

Byron has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Max Pacioretty (Left Wing-67)

8G, 8A, 16 PTS, 52.9 ESCF% in 29 GP

Pacioretty has been Montreal’s best forward for years. In the last five non-lockout seasons, he’s finished with 33 goals and 65 points, 39 goals and 60 points, 37 goals and 67 points, 30 goals and 64 points, and 35 goals and 67 points. That being said, he is in danger of breaking both his 30-goal and 60-point streaks this season, on pace for 46 points (23G, 23A) in 82 games.

Pacioretty has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Jonathan Drouin (Centre-92)

5G, 12A, 17 PTS, 51.2 ESCF% in 78 GP

Drouin is in his first season with the Canadiens. Though he’s still not quite producing like a first-line centre, he is leading the team in scoring and is on pace for 53 points (16G, 37A) in 78 games.

Drouin has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Ottawa Senators

Dion Phaneuf (Defenceman-2)

3G, 8A, 11 PTS, 44.4 ESCF% in 26 GP

Phaneuf is coming off two straight seasons of over 30 points. In 2015/16, the season he was traded from Toronto to Ottawa, he scored 32, and he finished with 30 points last season. His Corsi numbers have been pretty bad during the 2010s, and his move to the Senators hasn’t helped, but he has improved offensively. He is on pace for 34 points (9G, 25A) in 82 games.

Phaneuf represented Calgary in the 2007 and 2008 All-Star Games and Toronto in the 2012 All-Star Game.

Bobby Ryan (Right Wing-9)

1G, 7A, 8 PTS, 48.8 ESCF% in 18 GP

Ryan had a weak year last season. His 25 points in 62 games were a 33-point pace, even lower than he scored in the 23 games he played for Anaheim in 2007/08 before his four straight 30-goal campaigns. He is coming off three straight seasons at a 57-point pace. He is on pace for 33 points (4G, 29A) in 74 games.

Ryan represented Ottawa in the 2015 All-Star Game.

Zack Smith (Left Wing-15)

1G, 6A, 7 PTS, 48.9 ESCF% in 17 GP

Smith, sidelined earlier this season with a thumb injury, is having a bad season in terms of Corsi, but was scoring points at the fastest rate of his career before going down. He is coming off two straight seasons over 50% Corsi and over 30 points. He scored career-highs of 25 goals and 36 points in 2015/16. He is on pace for 30 points (4G, 26A) in 73 games.

Smith has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Derick Brassard (Centre-19)

6G, 11A, 17 PTS, 52.5 ESCF% in 26 GP

In the two seasons before he joined the Senators, Brassard finished with 60 and 58 points. He had a weak year with his hometown team, scoring only 39 points, but is having a season more in line with his last few seasons this year. He is on pace for 54 points (19G, 35A) in 82 games.

Brassard has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Craig Anderson (Goaltender-41)

7-9-3, 0.895 Save%, 1 SO in 21 GP

Anderson posted a 0.916 Save% in 2015/16. Last season, he posted a 0.926 Save% in 40 games as he missed a large chunk of the season in order to support his cancer-stricken wife, earning the Bill Masterton Trophy in the process. He’s having a down year currently, on pace for a 22-28-9 record in 66 games.

Anderson has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (Centre-44)

2G, 9A, 11 PTS, 44.8 ESCF% in 26 GP

It took Pageau a season after his memorable 2013 postseason to become a full-time NHLer, but since he made it, he’s been a solid bottom-six forward. His Corsi numbers have been among the worst on the team, but he scored 43 points in 2016 and 33 last season. He is on pace for 34 points (6G, 28A) this season.

Pageau has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Mark Stone (Right Wing-61)

14G, 11A, 25 PTS, 53.7 ESCF% in 26 GP

In 2014/15, Stone scored 26 goals and 64 points. In 2015/16, he scored 61 points in 75 games, a 66-point pace. Last season, he scored 54 points in 71 games, a 62-point pace. This season, the big winger is on pace for 79 points (44G, 35A) in 82 games.

Stone has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Erik Karlsson (Defenceman-65)

1G, 16A, 17 PTS, 55.3 ESCF% in 21 GP

Karlsson has won two Norris Trophies, but let’s be real, he should be dominating the award the way Bobby Orr did in the 70s. He scored 82 points in 2016, and had a career-high 21 goals in 2015. Last season was a down year in terms of offensive production and in terms of Corsi, but he still had 17 goals and 71 points and a 1.98 Corsi%Rel. This season, his Corsi% is very high, and he is on pace for 63 points (4G, 59A) in 77 games.

Karlsson represented Ottawa in the 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2017 All-Star Games.

Mike Hoffman (Left Wing-68)

9G, 11A, 20 PTS, 50.8 ESCF% in 26 GP

Hoffman led all rookies in goal scoring with 27 goals in 2014/15, and followed that up with 29 goals and 59 points in 78 games, a 30-goal 62-point pace. Last season, he scored 61 points in 74 games, a 67-point pace. He is on pace to finish with 63 points (28G, 35A) in 82 games.

Hoffman has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Matt Duchene (Centre-95)

5G, 7A, 12 PTS, 50.7 ESCF% in 26 GP

Duchene’s career has kind of stalled lately. He scored 67 points in 2010/11, 43 points in 47 games in 2013, 70 points in 2014, and 30 goals and 59 points in 2016. Last season, he had a down year with 41 points. The speedster went seven games without a point after the trade, and has only one point with Ottawa, but was on a 58-point pace with Colorado before being traded. He is on pace for 38 points (16G, 22A) in 82 games.

Duchene represented Colorado in the 2011 and 2016 All-Star Games.

Tampa Bay Lightning

Anton Stralman (Defenceman-6)

2G, 4A, 6 PTS, 51.0 ESCF% in 27 GP

Stralman has been a top-pairing blueliner for the Lightning. While countryman Victor Hedman racks up most of the points, Stralman has performed well offensively as well. He scored 39 points in 2014/15, and 34 the following season. Last season, he scored 22 points in 73 games, a 25-point pace. He’s on pace for 18 points (6G, 12A) in 82 games.

Stralman has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Tyler Johnson (Centre-9)

6G, 8A, 14 PTS, 49.5 ESCF% in 27 GP

Johnson was the star centre of the Triplets line back in 2014/15, when he scored 72 points in 77 games. Last season, he rebounded from 38 points in 69 games to 45 points in 66 games, a 55-point pace. This season, he’s performing the worst of that former line, on pace for 42 points (18G, 24A) in 82 games, just over a half a point per game, on pace for.

Johnson has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Chris Kunitz (Left Wing-14)

4G, 5A, 9 PTS, 50.2 ESCF% in 27 GP

After scoring 28 points last season, Kunitz was let go by the Penguins. He’s on this list based on his two Stanley Cups with the Pens and his 35-goal 68-point season back in 2013/14. This season, he’s on pace for 27 points (12G, 15A) in 82 games.

Kunitz has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Alex Killorn (Left Wing-17)

2G, 14A, 16 PTS, 52.4 ESCF% in 27 GP

Last season saw Killorn score a career-high 19 goals. Back in 2013/14, he scored a career-high 41 points. After teammate Nikita Kucherov made comments in the offseason about players having gotten their money and, no longer fighting to keep their place in the lineup, stopped playing, comments many interpreted as being about Killorn, Killorn seems to be stepping up, setting a pace for 49 points (6G, 43A) in 82 games.

Killorn has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Ondrej Palat (Left Wing-18)

7G, 11A, 18 PTS, 51.6 ESCF% in 27 GP

In 2014/15, at the height of the Triplets’ collective powers, Palat scored a career-high 63 points, after having scored a career-high 23 goals the year before. Last season, saw Palat bounce back from 40 points to 52 in 75 games, a 57-point pace. He’s on pace for 54 points (21G, 33A) in 82 games.

Palat has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Brayden Point (Centre-21)

10G, 13A, 23 PTS, 51.8 ESCF% in 27 GP

As a rookie last season, Point scored 40 points in 68 games, a 48-point pace. This season, he’s scoring like a legitimate first-line centre. He’s on pace for 69 points (30G, 39A) in 82 games.

Point has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Ryan Callahan (Right Wing-24)

1G, 5A, 6 PTS, 51.7 ESCF% in 26 GP

Callahan hasn’t had a good last couple seasons. He only managed four points in 18 games last season, and 28 points in 73 the year before. He’s on this list based on 2014/15, his first full season with the Lightning, when he tied a career-high of 54 points. This season, he is on pace for 19 points (3G, 16A) in 81 games.

Callahan has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Peter Budaj (Goaltender-31)

1-2-1, 0.867 Save%, 0 SO in 4 GP

Budaj is posting weaker numbers this season and is back to being a backup with the Lightning. Last season, on the other hand, he posted a 0.915 Save% in 60 games between Los Angeles and Tampa Bay, 0.917 if one counts only his stint with Los Angeles, when he handled the starter’s role in the absence of an injured Jonathan Quick. This season, he is on pace for a 3-6-3 record in 12 games.

Budaj has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Braydon Coburn (Defenceman-55)

0G, 7A, 7 PTS, 46.8 ESCF% in 25 GP

While Coburn hasn’t been a big producer since he joined the Lightning, scoring 12 points last season, he’s posted Corsi percentages over 50 in each of his seasons so far with the Lightning. This season, he is on pace for 22 points (0G, 22A) in 80 games.

Coburn has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Victor Hedman (Defenceman-77)

2G, 15A, 17 PTS, 51.5 ESCF% in 27 GP

Hedman dipped a bit offensively after scoring 55 points in 2013/14 for the Lightning. After seasons of 38 and 47 points, he bounced back in a big way last season, scoring 72 points in 79 games. He’s on pace for 52 points (6G, 46A) in 82 games, this season.

Hedman represented Tampa Bay in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Nikita Kucherov (Right Wing-86)

19G, 21A, 40 PTS, 51.7 ESCF% in 27 GP

Kucherov’s has been a meteoric rise. He was the lowest-scoring member of the Triplets as a rookie in 2013/14, scoring nine goals and 18 points in 52 games, a 14-goal and 29-point pace. The following year, he scored 29 goals and 65 points. The year after that he scored 30 goals and 66 points in 77 games, a 32-goal and 71-point pace. Last season, he scored 40 goals and 85 points in 74 games, a 44-goal and 94-point pace. Just when he thought he couldn’t get much higher, there he is setting a pace for 122 points (58G, 64A) in 82 games.

Kucherov represented Tampa Bay in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Andrei Vasilevskiy (Goaltender-88)

18-4-1, 0.932 Save%, 2 SO in 23 GP

I blamed Vasilevskiy for Tampa Bay’s struggles to seal the deal at the end of the playoffs. In both 2015 and 2016, as far as I could tell, the Lightning would get within sniffing distance of a championship, only for Ben Bishop to go down with injury and be replaced by the inferior Vasilevskiy. Last season, he posted a 0.917 Save% as he played 50 games, due in part to Bishop’s eventual trade to Los Angeles. This season, he is on pace for a 55-12-3 record in 70 games.

Vasilevskiy has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Vladislav Namestnikov (Centre-90)

11G, 13A, 24 PTS, 50.8 ESCF% in 27 GP

After scoring 35 points in 2015/16 and 28 points in 74 games, a 31-point pace, in 2016/17, Namestnikov is breaking out as the third part of Tampa Bay’s amazing first line this season. He’s on pace for 72 points (33G, 39A) in 82 games.

Namestnikov has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Steven Stamkos (Centre-91)

11G, 27A, 38 PTS, 54.2 ESCF% in 27 GP

After he missed all but 17 games with a knee injury last season, it would have been easy to write off Stamkos for this season. He’s defying expectations by returning to his old point-producing self. He’s on pace for 115 points (33G, 82A) in 82 games.

Stamkos represented Tampa Bay in the 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016 All-Star Games.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Ron Hainsey (Defenceman-2)

2G, 10A, 12 PTS, 50.4 ESCF% in 29 GP

Hainsey posted strong Corsi percentages over 50% in each of his full seasons with Carolina. After it dipped in a season he spent part of with Pittsburgh, which saw his first playoff appearance turn into his first championship, he’s back to posting good Corsi numbers as the main defensive conscience for the offensively-oriented Leafs blueline. That’s not to say he’s not doing well offensively either. He’s third among Leafs blueliners in points and is on pace for 34 points (6G, 28A) in 82 games, the most points he’s had in a season since 2009, when he scored 39 points for Atlanta. It would be pretty impressive, considering the 36-year-old hasn’t even gotten 20 points in a season since 2010.

Hainsey has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Zach Hyman (Left Wing-11)

5G, 9A, 14 PTS, 52.5 ESCF% in 29 GP

Of Toronto’s major six rookies last season, Hyman has the least All-Star cred, but the other five of them are on this list, so I included Hyman on the list. He helps fill the “guy with noteworthy work ethic who is an easy fan favourite but can still rack up some points” quotient. He’s on pace for 39 points (14G, 25A) in 82 games and has been used frequently on the first line.

Hyman has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Patrick Marleau (Left Wing-12)

10G, 7A, 17 PTS, 51.6 ESCF% in 29 GP

Well wasn’t this unexpected? After three seasons of failing to reach 60 points and two straight under 40, Marleau, brought in as a veteran presence, is having a rebound season. He’s on pace for 48 points (28G, 20A) in 82 games.

Marleau represented San Jose in the 2004, 2007, and 2009 All-Star Games.

Mitchell Marner (Right Wing-16)

2G, 14A, 16 PTS, 55.5 ESCF% in 29 GP

As one of Toronto’s six rookies last season, Marner scored 61 points in 77 games, a 65-point pace. He’s had a slow start to the season and as a result spent some time on the fourth line. He’s on pace for 46 points (6G, 40A) in 82 games.

Marner has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Nikita Zaitsev (Defenceman-22)

4G, 6A, 10 PTS, 48.5 ESCF% in 29 GP

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016, Zaitsev made it to the NHL right away and scored 36 points. This season, though he’s not scoring quite as much, he’s been used in a defensive role this season. He’s near the top of the NHL in penalty kill TOI. He’s on pace for 28 points (11G, 17A) in 82 games.

Zaitsev has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

James van Riemsdyk (Left Wing-25)

13G, 7A, 20 PTS, 54.1 ESCF% in 28 GP

Back in 2013/14, his first season with the Leafs, van Riemsdyk scored career-highs of 30 goals, 31 assists, and 61 points. He returned to that level last season with 29 goals and career-highs of 33 assist and 62 points. This season, he’s on pace for 58 points (38G, 20A) in 81 games.

Van Riemsdyk has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Connor Brown (Right Wing-28)

8G, 5A, 13 PTS, 47.4 ESCF% in 29 GP

As a rookie last season, Brown scored 20 goals and 36 points. For much of the summer, speculation abounded about whether the Leafs would be able to re-sign Brown. It’s a good thing that deal got done. This season, he’s on pace for 37 points (23G, 14A) in 82 games.

Brown has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

William Nylander (Right Wing-29)

5G, 15A, 20 PTS, 52.4 ESCF% in 29 GP

After scoring 61 points as a rookie, it’s Nylander, not Marner, that’s having the worst sophomore slump of Toronto’s rookies last season. Whereas Marner got plunked on the fourth line for a spell, Nylander’s been criticized by the coach and been rumoured for trades by the media. He is on pace for 56 points (14G, 42A) in 82 games.

Nylander has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Frederik Andersen (Goaltender-31)

16-8-1, 0.922 Save%, 3 SO in 25 GP

After a fairly respectable three-year career with the Ducks, Andersen played his first season for the Leafs last season. Andersen posted a 0.918 Save% in 66 games and backstopped the Leafs to their first playoff appearance since 2013, their second overall/first in a non-lockout season since 2004. He is on pace for a 45-23-3 record in 71 games.

Andersen has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Auston Matthews (Centre-34)

13G, 13A, 26 PTS, 53.3 ESCF% in 25 GP

Last season, Matthews, the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored 40 goals and 69 points. He won the Calder Trophy because of course he did. No sophomore slump for Matthews, who is on pace for 82 points (41G, 41A) in 78 games.

Matthews represented Toronto in the 2017 All-Star Game.

Tyler Bozak (Centre-42)

4G, 7A, 11 PTS, 51.4 ESCF% in 28 GP

After a handful of seasons of being touted as the perfect centre to play with Phil Kessel despite A) not even scoring 50 points in a season, and B) not even being that great defensively like the MSM and Selke voters believed, Bozak finally had a respectable offensive season last season with 55 points in 78 games, a 58-point pace. He’s having a bad year this season, though is on this list because he was on the official All-Star ballot last season. He is on pace for 32 points (12G, 20A) in 81 games.

Bozak has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Nazem Kadri (Centre-43)

13G, 10A, 23 PTS, 48.1 ESCF% in 29 GP

Prior to last season, Kadri’s best single-season performance was 44 points in 48 games in the lockout-shortened 2012/13 season. His best performance in a non-lockout season was the 50 points he scored the following year. That all changed last season, as Kadri proved himself as a capable first-line centre (even if he was the second-line centre with Matthews playing) and scored 32 goals and 61 points. This season, he’s on pace for 65 points (37G, 28A) in 82 games.

Kadri has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Morgan Rielly (Defenceman-44)

4G, 15A, 19 PTS, 52.4 ESCF% in 29 GP

After scoring 36 points in 2015/16 and starting off strong in 2016/17, Rielly finished with a disappointing 27 points. This season, he’s on pace for 53 points (11G, 42A) in 82 games.

Rielly has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

Leo Komarov (Right Wing-47)

3G, 4A, 7 PTS, 45.2 ESCF% in 29 GP

In 2015/16, Komarov scored 36 points in 67 games, a 44-point pace and was in the All-Star Game. The following year, he scored 32 points. This season he’s having a down year in points, on pace for 19 points (8G, 11A) in 82 games, but that can be explained by a decline in his TOI. In his All-Star season, it was after Kessel and before Matthews, but then all those rookies made a major impact, lessening Komarov’s role. And this season those same rookies are a year older, wiser, and more experienced, further relegating Komarov’s role. He’s on this list based largely on his last two seasons and his All-Star appearance.

Komarov represented Toronto in the 2016 All-Star Game.

Jake Gardiner (Defenceman-51)

2G, 11A, 13 PTS, 50.3 ESCF% in 29 GP

The puck-mover had a surprisingly great season last year. In three of his past four non-lockout seasons, he had just reached 30 points. Last season, he broke out with 43 points. He also finished the last two seasons with ESCorsi percentages of 53.49 and 51.89, so he’s good in that area as well. He’s on pace for 37 points (6G, 31A) in 82 games.

Gardiner has never appeared in an All-Star Game.

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