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2018 NHL All-Star Rosters Redux: The Injury Replacements

Wherein I offer the credentials of this year’s All-Star backups.

2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Central Division v Pacific Division Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

It’s inevitable. The NHL will name a bunch of players to the All-Star Game, a veritable cross-section of the best the NHL has to offer. And then a handful of players get an injury of some sort, leaving the NHL to scramble to find NHLers to fill in. This season is interesting in that even after injuries, all 31 teams will still be represented. Here are the All-Star Rosters, with the injury replacements added in.

Atlantic Division

Forwards

Steven Stamkos (Centre-91-Tampa Bay Lightning) - Captain

Brad Marchand (Left Winger-63-Boston Bruins)

Jack Eichel (Centre-15-Buffalo Sabres)

Aleksander Barkov (Centre-16-Florida Panthers)

Nikita Kucherov (Right Winger-86-Tampa Bay Lightning)

Auston Matthews (Centre-34-Toronto Maple Leafs)

Defencemen

Mike Green (25-Detroit Red Wings)

Erik Karlsson (65-Ottawa Senators)

Victor Hedman (77-Tampa Bay Lightning) - Injured

Goaltenders

Carey Price (31-Montreal Canadiens)

Andrei Vasilevskiy (88-Tampa Bay Lightning)

Injury Replacement

Brayden Point (Centre-21-Tampa Bay Lightning)

Hold up. Just because his name is Point doesn’t make him a defenceman. Charlie McAvoy and Morgan Rielly may be injured, but Jake Gardiner, Torey Krug, Keith Yandle, and, if you absolutely must have four players from one team, Mikhail Sergachev were all available. As for Point himself, he is deserving of an All-Star nod. He is second on the Lightning with 20 goals and third with 44 points in 49 games and has a 51.83 CF%. Ignore the weirdness of the NHL filling a vacant defence spot with a forward and this is a good fit. As an aside, in my earlier post about the All-Star rosters, I listed Point as the closest thing the over-represented Lightning had to a snub from the too-small All-Star rosters. Point replaces Hedman, who is currently out with a lower-body injury.

Central Division

Forwards

Patrick Kane (Right Winger-88-Chicago Blackhawks)

Nathan MacKinnon (Centre-29-Colorado Avalanche)

Tyler Seguin (Centre-91-Dallas Stars)

Eric Staal (Centre-12-Minnesota Wild)

Brayden Schenn (Centre-10-St. Louis Blues)

Blake Wheeler (Right Winger-26-Winnipeg Jets)

Defencemen

PK Subban (76-Nashville Predators) - Captain

John Klingberg (3-Dallas Stars)

Alex Pietrangelo (27-St. Louis Blues)

Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne (35-Nashville Predators)

Connor Hellebuyck (37-Winnipeg Jets)

Metropolitan Division

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin (Left Winger-8-Washington Capitals) - Captain

Taylor Hall (Left Winger-9-New Jersey Devils) - Injured

Josh Bailey (Right Winger-12-New York Islanders)

John Tavares (Center-91-New York Islanders)

Claude Giroux (Centre-28-Philadelphia Flyers)

Sidney Crosby (Centre-87-Pittsburgh Penguins)

Defencemen

Noah Hanifin (5-Carolina Hurricanes)

Seth Jones (3-Columbus Blue Jackets) - Injured

Kris Letang (58-Pittsburgh Penguins)

Goaltenders

Henrik Lundqvist (30-New York Rangers)

Braden Holtby (70-Washington Capitals)

Injury Replacements

Zach Werenski (Defenceman-8-Columbus Blue Jackets)

Werenski replaces Seth Jones, who is currently out with an illness. It’s clear why Jones was the first pick, on pace for over 50 points, but Werenski, whose 47 points last season made him a Calder finalist, is deserving, even if he is having a sophomore slump. His underlying numbers have improved though. He is posting a 56.4 CF% versus 53.22 last year.

Brian Boyle (Centre-11-New Jersey Devils)

It seems every NHL All-Star Game has one guy who doesn’t look like an All-Star. Guys like Mike Komisarek, Zemgus Girgensons, or John Scott. The big twist this year is that Boyle was picked by the league. Replacing Taylor Hall, who is out with a broken thumb, Boyle is an interesting story. He returned to play in November despite being diagnosed during the offseason with leukemia, and the 32 points he is on pace for would be the second-highest total of his career. He is also on pace for over 20 goals. Though his underlying numbers are a bit weak this year, he posted a 52.69 CF% last season between Tampa Bay and Toronto.

Pacific Division

Forwards

Connor McDavid (Centre-97-Edmonton Oilers) - Captain

Rickard Rakell (Left Winger-67-Anaheim Ducks)

Johnny Gaudreau (Left Winger-13-Calgary Flames)

Anze Kopitar (Centre-11-Los Angeles Kings)

Brock Boeser (Right Winger-6-Vancouver Canucks)

James Neal (Right Winger-18-Vegas Golden Knights)

Defencemen

Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23-Arizona Coyotes)

Drew Doughty (8-Los Angeles Kings)

Brent Burns (88-San Jose Sharks)

Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick (32-Los Angeles Kings) - Injured

Marc-Andre Fleury (29-Vegas Golden Knights)

Injury Replacement

Mike Smith (Goaltender-41-Calgary Flames)

Smith fills in for Jonathan Quick, who is out with an undisclosed injury. Smith is currently posting a 0.926 Save%, among the best in the Western Conference, and the third-best among the Pacific Division’s starting goaltenders.

With no more games being played, I think it’s safe to say these are the final rosters. Barring Sidney Crosby deciding two All-Star appearances is too many of course.