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Expanded All-Star Ballot 2019 - Central

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This my expanded All-Star Game ballot for the Jets’ division, the Central.

2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game - Central v Pacific Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Chicago Blackhawks

Duncan Keith (Defenceman-2)

Though Keith only finished last season with 32 points and is only on pace for 32 points (0G, 32A) in 82 games this season while posting a 52.58 ESCorsi%, Keith certainly has the body of work to stay in the All-Star conversation for Chicago. He is two seasons removed from his last 50-plus point season and is still the team leader in TOI.

Past All-Star Games: Chicago-2008, 2011, 2015, 2017

Brent Seabrook (Defenceman-7)

Though Seabrook has declined a lot in recent seasons, it wasn’t too long ago that he was still a solid offensive player. Two seasons ago he had 39 points and the year before he had 49. He is on pace this season for 32 points (8G, 24A) in 82 games and is posting a 46.36 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Chicago-2015

Brendan Perlini (Left Wing-11)

Even though Perlini has struggled this season, scoring only six points before his trade to Chicago and not scoring since, Perlini is here because of his stint in Arizona. He had seasons of 14 goals and 21 points and 17 goals and 30 points on comparatively bad Arizona teams. He is on pace for 17 points (6G, 11A) in 79 games and is posting a 50.39 ESCorsi%.

Alex DeBrincat (Left Wing-12)

The 2016 second-rounder has performed well out of the gate. He scored 28 goals and 52 points as a rookie last season and is on pace for 62 points (29G, 32A) in 82 games and is posting a 51.32 ESCorsi%.

Chris Kunitz (Left Wing-14)

Kunitz is on the expanded ballot based on his body of work with Pittsburgh. While he is coming off two straight 29-point seasons after two straight 40-point seasons, Kunitz scored 35 goals and 68 points in 2014 and had had several strong seasons by that point. This season he is on pace for seven points (0G, 7A) in 72 games and is posting a 55.11 ESCorsi%.

Artem Anisimov (Centre-15)

While Anisimov hasn’t reached 50 points in his career and is coming off a weak 31-point season, Anisimov has been a decent second-line centre and has typically played with Chicago’s best wingers. He is on pace this season for 40 points (16G, 24A) in 82 games and is posting a 52.23 ESCorsi%.

Jonathan Toews (Centre-19)

Toews has been declining for years. While he’s remained a well-respected defensive centre, he hasn’t reached 60 points in a season since 2015 and hasn’t reached 30 goals since 2011. After career-lows of 20 goals and 52 points last season, Toews has inexplicably been on a pace to do both, specifically 63 points (34G, 29A) in 82 games while posting a 51.39 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Chicago-2009, 2011, 2015, 2017

Brandon Saad (Left Wing-20)

Saad was a really good player for Columbus, finishing twice with 53 points and even finishing with 31 goals in 2016. After finishing his first year back with Chicago only 35 points, he is on pace for a resurgent season of 44 points (22G, 22A) in 80 games while posting a 52.3 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Columbus-2016

Cam Ward (Goaltender-30)

Ward is a backup, and a poorly performing one at that, after Carolina finally let him go. As a former high-profile starting netminder who was at least decent and mostly good until 2015, and a former Stanley Cup-winner, Ward makes it onto this list. This season he is on pace for a 0.888 Save%, 11-8-11 record, and zero shutouts in 32 games.

Past All-Star Games: Carolina-2011

Gustav Forsling (Defenceman-42)

After meager seasons of 38 and 41 games, Forsling has solidified a major role with the Blackhawks. He is an every-night player averaging over 20 minutes per night and on pace for 29 points (6G, 23A) in 62 games while posting a 48.93 ESCorsi%.

Corey Crawford (Goaltender-50)

Crawford is one of the goaltending stars of the 2010s, so he’s a given for this list. Sadly, he hasn’t performed quite as well since he missed most of last season with an injury. He is on pace for a 0.901 Save%, 13-37-3 record, and three shutouts in 53 games.

Past All-Star Games: Chicago-2015, 2017

Erik Gustafsson (Defenceman-56)

It used to be, this was the “other” Erik Gustafsson. There was already a player of the same name in the NHL and this one was nicknamed “Erkan” (still part of his Twitter handle) so as to not confuse the two. After splitting two seasons between the NHL and AHL, with one spent entirely in the AHL in between, Gustafsson is now a top-four defenceman with Chicago, on pace for 35 points (13G, 22A) in 81 games with a 52.28 ESCorsi%, and the distinction is unnecessary.

Patrick Kane (Right Wing-88)

Though Kane has seen his production drop in recent seasons, a drop from 106 points to 89 to 76 isn’t quite enough to take a player out of the All-Star conversation. This season, Kane is on pace for 92 points (41G, 51A) in 81 games with a 50.58 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Chicago-2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Colorado Avalanche

Semyon Varlamov (Goaltender-1)

Varlamov has performed well as a member of the Avalanche. He is coming off a 0.920 Save% and Colorado’s first playoff appearance since he led them there in 2014. He is having a better season in terms of his individual performance this season, on pace for a 0.918 Save%, 27-19-8 record, and three shutouts in 55 games.

Tyson Barrie (Defenceman-4)

Barrie has less visibly been a high-scoring defenceman for years now. He bounced back to 57 points last season in 68 games, a 69-point pace over 82 games. He is scoring points at a similar rate so far this season, on pace for 63 points (12G, 51A) in 79 games with a 50.5 ESCorsi%.

Erik Johnson (Defenceman-6)

The veteran defenceman hasn’t gotten to 30 points since he scored 39 points in 2014. His scoring is down this season, a pace for 24 points (5G, 19A) in 82 games with a 49.44 ESCorsi%, but he is coming off a season in which he scored 25 points in 62 games, a 33-point pace.

Alexander Kerfoot (Centre-13)

A bit of a cooling down last season turned a strong rookie start into a 43-point season. This season, he’s on pace to improve on last season’s totals with 49 points (11G, 38A) in 82 games with a 49.78 ESCorsi%.

Ian Cole (Defenceman-28)

For the first time in his career, Cole is averaging over 20 minutes per night. He is on pace for 25 points (3G, 22A) in 82 games with 49.78 ESCorsi%. He is third among Avs defencemen in both points and TOI.

Nathan MacKinnon (Centre-29)

Prior to last season, MacKinnon hadn’t reached 60 points in a season since he won the Calder Trophy in 2014 with 63. Last season, he was a Hart Finalist with 39 goals and 97 points. This season he is scoring nearly one and a half points per game, on pace for 123 points (55G, 68A) in 82 games with a 50.78 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Colorado-2017, 2018

Carl Soderberg (Centre-34)

Soderberg bounced back last season from 14 points to 37, but it was only part of the way to getting back to his 51 points from 2016. Soderberg is currently on pace to exceed that total as well as his shatter his 16-goal career high, specifically reaching 57 points (27G, 30A) in 82 games with a 46.13 ESCorsi%.

JT Compher (Right Wing-37)

Compher played his first full season last year and finished with 23 points. This season sees him on pace for 42 points (33G, 9A) in 66 games with a 51.48 ESCorsi% even though he’s averaged roughly three fewer minutes per night.

Samuel Girard (Defenceman-49)

After finishing last season with 23 points as he was traded by Nashville, the sophomore defenceman is on pace for 32 points (5G, 27A) in 82 games with a 48.71 ESCorsi%. He’s averaging roughly three more minutes per night than last season and is second among Avs defencemen in points.

Gabriel Landeskog (Left Wing-92)

Landeskog has, so far in his career, been a 20-goal 60-point man, the hard worker on his line as opposed to the finisher or set-up man. Landeskog is finding another gear this season, on pace for 92 points (46G, 46A) in 82 games with a 51.23 ESCorsi%.

Mikko Rantanen (Right Wing-96)

Rantanen is coming off an 84-point season and is the league leader in assists and points. He is also the league leader in points per game. He is on pace for 131 points (33G, 98A) in 82 games with a 50.61 ESCorsi%.

Dallas Stars

John Klingberg (Defenceman-3)

Not only was last season a bounce back for Klingberg, who scored fell from 58 to 49 points the year before last, but it was also a new personal best. He finished with 67 points in 82 games and was scoring at a similar rate this season before going down with a hand injury. He is on pace for 55 points (21G, 34A) in 68 games with a 49.11 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Dallas-2018

Martin Hanzal (Centre-11)

The no.1 centre for Arizona during his time there and currently with a team lacking in offensive depth, Hanzal remains on this expanded ballot. Before an injury-shortened 2018 season, he had a 39-point season and a 41-point year before that. He is on pace for 27 points (27G, 0A) in 54 games with a 31.91 ESCorsi%.

Mattias Janmark (Left Wing-13)

Last season was a true sophomore year for Janmark, who missed the whole year following his rookie year with an injury. He finished the year with 34 points. While it’s not a tremendous season, that was good for fifth in team scoring last year. He is on pace for 24 points (5G, 19A) in 82 games with a 47.39 ESCorsi%.

Jamie Benn (Left Wing-14)

Last season saw the veteran power forward and 2015 Art Ross winner bounce back from 26 goals and 69 points to 36 goals and 79 points. He is on pace for 66 points (33G, 33A) in 82 games with a 49.11 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Dallas-2012, 2016

Devin Shore (Centre-17)

Shore is coming off a 33-point rookie season and a 32-point sophomore year. This season, the young two-way forward is sixth in team scoring and on pace for his first 40-point year, 42 points (15G, 27A) in 82 games with a 44.49 ESCorsi%.

Esa Lindell (Defenceman-23)

After a decent 27-point sophomore season, Lindell has seen him turn into valuable defensive depth for Dallas. He is averaging roughly two minutes more this year than last and is on pace for 36 points (14G, 22A) in 82 games with a 45.24 ESCorsi%.

Stephen Johns (Defenceman-28)

Johns has yet to play his first game of the season due to a head injury, but is coming off a decent sophomore year. He averaged 17:33 per game last season, scored 15 points, and posted a 50.26 Corsi% in 75 games.

Ben Bishop (Goaltender-30)

Bishop has bounced back since his rough 2017 season. His first year with Dallas saw him post a 0.916 Save% and he’s doing even better this season, on pace for a 0.925 Save%, 27-16-3 record, and five shutouts in 49 games.

Alexander Radulov (Right Wing-47)

Radulov improved from 18 goals and 54 points to 27 goals and 72 points in his second season back in the NHL. The veteran winger is scoring well over a point per game this year and is on pace for 79 points (32G, 47A) in 72 games with a 51.87 ESCorsi%.

Jason Spezza (Centre-90)

Spezza’s current season is still short of his 50-point performance in 2017, or even his 33 goals and 63 points in 2016, but it’s a lot better than his 26 points last season. He is on pace for 47 points (14G, 33A) in 82 games with a 49.08 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Ottawa-2008, 2012

Tyler Seguin (Centre-91)

Seguin scored 84 points in 2014, and has still topped 70 points every year since then. He is on pace to do so again this year, even if his goal-scoring pace is well off last season’s 40 goals. He is on pace for 71 points (22G, 49A) in 82 games with a 48.68 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Boston-2012, Dallas-2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

Minnesota Wild

Charlie Coyle (Right Wing-3)

Coyle isn’t quite having a bounceback season, but last year’s production wasn’t that bad by Coyle’s standards. He finished with 56 points in 82 games. He is on pace for 36 points (11G, 25A) in 82 games with a 50.07 ESCorsi%.

Mikko Koivu (Centre-9)

After falling last season from 58 points to 45, it was safe to say the 35-year-old Wild captain was nearing the end of his career. On pace for 62 points (12G, 50A) in 80 games with a 51.56 ESCorsi%, it’s clear he’s got some hockey left in the tank.

Zach Parise (Left Wing-11)

It can’t really be said that Parise has really lived up to his 2012 big-money contract. 2015 was the only season since he joined Minnesota that he’s gotten to 60 points. After last season saw him score 24 points in 42 games, it seemed Parise’s best years were behind him. This year he is following in Eric Staal’s footsteps with a vintage performance. He is on pace for 70 points (38G, 32A) in 81 games with a 49.56 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: New Jersey-2009

Eric Staal (Centre-12)

Though he’s not quite performing at the level of his 42 goals and 76 points last season, Staal’s resurgence continues, with Staal still on pace for a solid 58 points (29G, 29A) in 81 games with a 51.02 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Carolina-2007, 2008, 2009, 2011; Minnesota-2018

Jason Zucker (Left Wing-16)

Though he isn’t quite on pace to match last season’s performance, Zucker is entrenched as a top-six forward for Minnesota. He scored 33 goals and 64 points last season. He is on pace for 50 points (50G, 50A) in 82 games with a 51.63 ESCorsi%.

Ryan Suter (Defenceman-20)

When Suter first finished a season with 51 points in 2016, it looked like a fluke for a shut-down defenceman whose previous career-high was 46 points. When he did it again last season, it seemed like the last time, especially considering he missed the last couple games of the year with an injury. This season he is on pace for 59 points (11G, 48A) in 82 games with a 48.84 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Nashville-2012; Minnesota-2015, 2017

Nino Niederreiter (Right Wing-22)

The Swiss winger is coming off a down year of 32 points and isn’t on pace for much of a bounceback this year, but he scored 25 goals and 57 points back in 2016/17. He is on pace for 39 points (11G, 28A) in 82 games with a 53.53 ESCorsi%.

Matt Dumba (Defenceman-24)

Dumba broke out offensively with 14 goals and 50 points. He is building on that season, and is shooting to be the first 30-goal-scoring defenceman since Mike Green in 2009. He is on pace for 53 points (28G, 25A) in 82 games with a 51.58 ESCorsi%.

Jonas Brodin (Defenceman-25)

Always the more defensively-focused of Minnesota’s top four defencemen, Brodin is coming off two seasons of at least 20 points. He scored at a 30-point pace in 2017. He is on pace for 19 points (8G, 11A) in 82 games with a 52.58 ESCorsi%.

Devan Dubnyk (Goaltender-40)

Dubnyk has been a bit slow to get going in the first half of this season. However, he has been a star for the Wild, with two seasons with a 0.918 Save% and one with a 0.923 Save% in the last three seasons. He is on pace for a 0.907 Save%, 28-25-6 record, and zero shutouts in 62 games.

Past All-Star Games: Minnesota-2016, 2017

Jared Spurgeon (Defenceman-46)

While Spurgeon finished last season 37 points, just one short of his career-high, injuries mask the kind of offensive season he had last season. He scored at a 50-point pace last season and is on pace for 42 points (8G, 34A) in 82 games this season with a 50.3 ESCorsi%.

Mikael Granlund (Centre-64)

It was safe to say Granlund had arrived as a serviceable first-line centre when he scored 26 goals and 69 points in 2017. On pace for 79 points (31G, 48A) in 82 games this season with a 51 ESCorsi%, he could cement himself as a legit no.1 if he keeps it up.

Nashville Predators

Dan Hamhuis (Defenceman-2)

The veteran blueliner is in his first season back with Nashville after a bounceback 24-point season. While he isn’t scoring at that pace, mostly due to playing behind Nashville’s big-four blueluine juggernaut, he makes it on this list based on past seasons in which he played a larger role. He is on pace for 11 points (0G, 11A) in 71 games with a 50.62 ESCorsi%.

Ryan Ellis (Defenceman-4)

Ellis missed just under half of last season with an injury, and while the 32 points in 44 games he had last year is an unsustainable pace, a 60-point pace for someone who’s never had 40, he is on pace this season to challenger for a respectable 40, on pace now for 35 points (5G, 30A) in 82 games with a 52.91 ESCorsi%.

Kyle Turris (Centre-8)

Turris, who is out with an undisclosed injury, is currently on pace for 52 points (16G, 36A) in 75 games with a 50.09 ESCorsi%. He eclipsed 50 in each of the last two seasons and finished the 2015 season with 64 points.

Filip Forsberg (Left Wing-9)

Three seasons ago, Forsberg established career-highs of 33 goals and 64 points. While that’s good, it’s still not at the level of other teams’ elite forwards. On pace for 66 points (42G, 24A) in 78 games with a 54.7 ESCorsi%, Forsberg is looking to change that.

Past All-Star Games: Nashville-2015

Nick Bonino (Centre-13)

Bonino makes it onto the expanded ballot thanks to a couple of past seasons in his career. He had 37 points in his last season with the Penguins and was a part of the HBK Line, and he had 49 points in 2014 with the Ducks. He is on pace for 31 points (11G, 20A) in 81 games with a 47.57 ESCorsi%.

Mattias Ekholm (Defenceman-14)

Often the forgotten part of Nashville’s Big Four, Ekholm scored 34 points last season, one short of his career-high from 2016. This season he is on pace for 49 points (8G, 41A) in 82 games with a 52.25 ESCorsI%.

Craig Smith (Right Wing-15)

I’ve continued to put Smith on these expanded ballots because he scored 52 points in 2014 and Nashville was so lacking in high-end offence that he was among the team’s offensive leaders. He isn’t an offensive leader anymore, but he did get 51 points this season. He is on pace for 41 points (22G, 19A) in 82 games with a 54.53 ESCorsi%.

Kevin Fiala (Left Wing-22)

Fiala is coming off an impressive 23 goals and 48 points as a sophomore and is on pace for 41 points (14G, 27A) in 82 games with a 52.88 ESCorsi%.

Viktor Arvidsson (Right Wing-33)

Arvidsson has had a really good run lately with the Preds. He finished the 2017 season with 31 goals and 61 points, repeating the 61 points last season. He was scoring a point per game through 13 games before he was sidelined with a broken thumb and is on pace now for 65 points (40G, 25A) in 65 games with a 54.5 ESCorsi%.

Pekka Rinne (Goaltender-35)

With a 0.927 Save% through 59 games last season, Rinne won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s top goaltender despite a third-round collapse in the playoffs. He has kept up his performance from last season despite being 36, somewhat old as far as pro hockey players go. He is on pace for a 0.930 Save%, 33-14-3 record, and five shutouts in 55 games.

Past All-Star Games: Nashville-2016, 2018

Roman Josi (Defenceman-59)

Though not quite still at the level of his 61 points in 2016, Josi bounced back last season from 49 points to 53. This season, he is on pace for even closer to that 61-point career-high, 58 points (14G, 44A) in 82 games with a 53.9 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Nashville-2016

PK Subban (Defenceman-76)

The EA Sports NHL 19 cover athlete is having a bit of a down year offensively, but last season he had 59 points, that season happening three years after he scored 60. He is on pace for 47 points (8G, 39A) in 70 games with a 54.04 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Montreal-2016, Nashville-2017, 2018

Ryan Johansen (Centre-92)

After a down year of 54 points, Johansen is on pace for 69 points (14G, 55A) in 82 games with a 55.61 ESCorsi%. If he keeps it up, he could cement his case as a legit no.1 centre and All-Star player.

St. Louis Blues

Joel Edmundson (Defenceman-6)

Though his ESCorsi% so far this year is considerably worse than his 51.87 last season, the shut-down defenceman is having a better year offensively, on pace for 21 points (3G, 18A) in 80 games with a 49.2 ESCorsi%.

Patrick Maroon (Left Wing-7)

The grinding veteran winger is seeing his TOI drop, naturally considering he’s no longer playing for teams lacking forward depth, so he is on pace for 27 points (3G, 24A) in 76 games with a 46.73 ESCorsi% fewer than 40 points for the first time since 2016. He finished with a career-high 43 points last season and scored at a 48-point pace.

Brayden Schenn (Centre-10)

Schenn was traded to St. Louis after failing to keep up his production from the second half of the 2016 season through the 2017 season. Schenn responded with career-highs of 28 goals and 70 points. The emergence of Ryan O’Reilly on the Blues means Schenn has seen a drop in TOI and offensive production more typical of his time in Philly. He is on pace for 52 points (20G, 32A) in 78 games with a 49.6 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: St. Louis-2018

Robby Fabbri (Left Wing-15)

Fabbri has been derailed by injury the past few years. Injuries during the 2017 season meant he couldn’t meet his rookie scoring total of 37 points as a sophomore, he missed the entire 2018 season, and he is currently out with a shoulder injury after a slow start of four points in 15 games. Fabbri is on this expanded ballot based on his pre-injury upward trend. He is on pace for 18 points (9G, 9A) in 69 games with a 50.14 ESCorsi%.

Jaden Schwartz (Left Wing-17)

Though Schwartz is having a seriously down year, one shared by most Blues, he is coming off a season of 59 points in 62 games, a 78-point pace. It would have been a career season if not for injuries. He is on pace for 41 points (9G, 32A) in 69 games with a 53.49 ESCorsi%.

Jay Bouwmeester (Defenceman-19)

The veteran defenceman hasn’t reached 20 points, much less 30, since he scored 37 in 2014, coming closest with 19 points in 2016. He remains on this expanded ballot based on those prior performances. He is on pace for 10 points (0G, 10A) in 78 games with a 42.6 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Florida-2007, 2009

Alexander Steen (Left Wing-20)

After two straight 60+point seasons and another two 50+point seasons, Steen finished last season with under 50 for the first time in a full season since 2011. He is out with a concussion now, and is now on pace for 41 points (22G, 19A) in 74 games with a 51.09 ESCorsi%.

Alex Pietrangelo (Defenceman-27)

Pietrangelo had a major bounce back over the last two seasons, jumping from 37 points in 2016 to 48 points in 2017 to 54 points in 2018. Another Blue that’s struggled and underperformed this season, Pietrangelo is on pace for 36 points (13G, 23A) in 78 games with a 51.09 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: St. Louis-2018

Vince Dunn (Defenceman-29)

After finishing with 24 points as a rookie, Dunn currently sits second among Blues blueliners in points. He is one of the few Blues defencemen who is having a better year than last year. He is on pace for 31 points (9G, 22A) in 80 games with a 47.76 ESCorsi%.

Jake Allen (Goaltender-34)

Allen has at times performed reasonably well. Despite continued issues with consistency, Allen had a 0.920 Save% in 47 games in 2016 and 0.915 in 61 games in 2017. He is on pace for lower than 0.900 this season after having a 0.905 Save% last season, but has gotten the starter’s workload this season. He is on pace for a 0.900 Save%, 23-23-12 record, and three shutouts in 64 games.

Colton Parayko (Defenceman-55)

The big blueliner is on the expanded All-Star ballot based on his last two seasons. He finished each of the last two seasons with 35 points. He is on pace for 24 points (15G, 9A) in 82 games with a 49.83 ESCorsi%.

David Perron (Left Wing-57)

Perron is, as expected, seeing his offensive production drop in his third stint with the Blues. He scored a career-high 66 points last season with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, but is averaging two fewer minutes per games than last season. He is on pace for 48 points (24G, 24A) in 81 games with a 44.15 ESCorsi%.

Ryan O’Reilly (Centre-90)

After coming the closest to his 64-point career-high he’s ever been with a 61-point season, O’Reilly had firmly established himself as a star two-way forward. Having stolen the no.1 centre spot from Brayden Schenn and on pace for 85 points (35G, 50A) in 82 games with a 50.84 ESCorsi%, O’Reilly is far and away the team’s offensive leader this year.

Vladimir Tarasenko (Right Wing-91)

Another strugging veteran Blue, Tarasenko’s struggles haven’t been as pronounced as they are for his teammates. He is still on pace for another 60-point season and could still get back onto a 30-goal rate if he picks it up a bit in the goal-scoring department. He did both last season, but he’s still not at that 40-goal territory from 2016. He is on pace for 58 points (26G, 32A) in 82 games with a 50.99 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: St. Louis-2015, 2016, 2017

Winnipeg Jets

Dmitry Kulikov (Defenceman-5)

I started putting Kulikov on these expanded ballots based on how well he did earlier in his career with Florida. As aware as I am of how poorly his performance has been since he left Florida, that earlier body of work, especially his 28-point-in-58-game 2012 season get him on this list. He is on pace for eight points (0G, 8A) in 61 games with a 41.34 ESCorsi%.

Jacob Trouba (Defenceman-8)

Two seasons ago, Trouba finished with a career-high of 33 points. Having finally gotten the big-minute role he’s wanted so much, he is proving he belongs, in large part by scoring at a pace for 42 points (8G, 34A) in 82 games with a 52.11 ESCorsi%.

Bryan Little (Centre-18)

Little is on this expanded ballot based on his performances prior to last season. The 31-year-old may be declining after finishing last season with 43 points, but prior to that he had two seasons scoring at a 61-point pace and another at a 66-point pace, after finishing the 2014 season with 64. He is on pace for 45 points (17G, 28A) in 82 games with a 49.18 ESCorsi%.

Blake Wheeler (Right Wing-26)

Wheeler is coming off an outstanding season in which he scored 91 points and a league-leading 68 assists. The captain’s goal numbers are way down, and by some accounts his overall level of play is hurting, but he is on pace so far for 104 points (14G, 90A) in 82 games with a 50.92 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Winnipeg-2018

Nikolaj Ehlers (Left Wing-27)

Though somewhat overshadowed by performances of his teammates, Ehlers has been a star as well. Ehlers fell one goal short of 30 last season and had his second straight season with at least 60 points. He is on pace this season for 53 points (25G, 28A) in 82 games with a 54.94 ESCorsi%.

Patrik Laine (Right Wing-29)

Though a bit of a cold streak has turned his league lead into a three-way tie with a couple, arguably more well-rounded, players, Laine is still tied for second in the league in goals. The assists aren’t coming all that much, but he’s been an electrifying scorer. His five goals against St. Louis on November 24 are the first time anyone’s scored five in a game since 2011. He is on pace for 73 points (59G, 14A) in 82 games with 47.75 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Winnipeg-2017

Dustin Byfuglien (Defenceman-33)

Byfuglien is back from his injury, and after four straight seasons scoring at an 82-game pace of 53 points, he is on pace for 60 points (10G, 50A) in 76 games with a 54.02 ESCorsi%.

Past All-Star Games: Atlanta/Winnipeg-2011, 2015, 2016

Connor Hellebuyck (Goaltender-37)

After posting a 0.924 Save% last season, Hellebuyck guided Winnipeg through the franchise’s first playoff win and a whirlwind run to the 2018 Western Conference Final. That consistency hasn’t quite been there this season, though several goaltenders have been affected, including Hellebuyck, by the scaling back of pad size, bring down the league average Save%. He has picked things up a bit and is on pace for a 0.910 Save%, 37-23-3 record, and 65 games.

Past All-Star Games: Winnipeg-2018

Josh Morrissey (Defenceman-44)

Already well-regarded as a solid blueliner in seasons past, Morrissey has begun to show the production he is capable of, thanks in large part to an increase in power play time. The young defenceman has missed time with injury, but is on pace for 45 points (9G, 36A) in 80 games with a 52.99 ESCorsi%.

Mark Scheifele (Centre-55)

Scheifele scored 60 points in 60 games last season and had 32 goals and 82 points the year before. Those are great numbers for a no.1 centre, but now he is on pace for 99 points (45G, 54A) in 82 games with a 51.98 ESCorsi%. It’s hard to believe he hasn’t played in an All-Star Game yet.

Tyler Myers (Defenceman-57)

Myers rebounded last season from a season almost completely lost due to injury by finishing with 36 points, his highest total since his 2011 sophomore season. The 2010 Calder winner is on pace for a barely more than 10 points, and I am well aware of how poor his performance has been, but he is on the expanded ballot based on last season’s production. He is on pace for 17 points (6G, 11A) in 82 games with a 50.51 ESCorsi%.

Kyle Connor (Left Wing-81)

Connor was called up part of the way into the season last year, but cemented his spot with rookie totals of 31 goals and 57 points in 76 games. This season, he is on pace for 73 points (31G, 42A) in 82 games with a 48.1 ESCorsi%.

Mathieu Perreault (Left Wing-85)

Two seasons ago, Perreault finished with a career-high of 45 points in 65 games, a 57-point pace. The versatile forward, who previously came the closest on the Jets to that mythical five goals in a game, saw his TOI drop, and with it his production, last season with the ascent of Winnipeg’s young guns. He remains fairly productive despite fourth-line minutes and the Jets’ poor idea of fourth-line linemates. He is on pace for 28 points (8G, 20A) in 82 games with a 53.74 ESCorsi%.