Sharks forward Joe Pavelski and defensemen Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns were named to the Pacific Division All-Star Team by the NHL Hockey Operations Department on Wednesday.
“It’s always special to play in [the All-Star Game],” Burns said. “Being at home, in front of our own fans, representing the team in the city makes it extra special. Having our boys there, them being older, I think they wanted to go more than us. All those things make it special. Been a long time in the League and you don’t get that chance often. Looking forward to it.”
Karlsson and Burns each will be making his sixth All-Star Game appearance. This will be Karlsson’s first with the Sharks after he was acquired in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13.
Burns is tied for first among NHL defensemen with 44 points (seven goals, 37 assists) with Morgan Rielly of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Karlsson is seventh with 32 points.
Pavelski, who leads the Sharks and tied for fourth in the NHL with 24 goals, was chosen for his third All-Star Game.
“It’s been a couple for me now,” Pavelski said. “It’s been fun. It’ll be different in our home town. Just excited to be a part of it.”
San Jose is the only team to have three players selected.
The reigning Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals will have two players on the Metropolitan Division team: defenseman John Carlson and goalie Braden Holtby.
“It was nice, it was good to be recognized,” Carlson said. “Just another experience that I can enjoy and it’s pretty cool. I wasn’t going to be upset if I didn’t (get selected). It wasn’t going to change anything about me as a player, but these things are fun experiences and I’m glad I get to share it with Holts as well. That’ll be another little cool experience that I’ll have with him. We’ve been together a long time and obviously he deserves it a lot too and many guys in this room deserve it as well.”
Other teams with two players selected are the Columbus Blue Jackets (forward Cam Atkinson, defenseman Seth Jones) in the Metropolitan Division; the Tampa Bay Lightning (forwards Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (forwards Auston Matthews and John Tavares) in the Atlantic Division; and the Colorado Avalanche (forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen), Winnipeg Jets (forwards Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler) and Nashville Predators (defenseman Roman Josi and goalie Pekka Rinne) in the Central Division.
Carlson, Rantanen and Scheifele are among 10 players who will be playing in their first All-Star Game. Also in that group is Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson, who leads NHL rookies with 22 goals and 42 points.
“All the stars in the NHL are there, and the players I’ve been growing up watching, now I’m going to be at the All-Star Game with them, so I’m very happy with that,” Pettersson said.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will play in his eighth All-Star Game, most among players in this year’s game.
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby will make his fourth appearance, including three straight.
“It’s an honor to be selected,” Crosby said. “You look around the League, a lot of guys having great years …”
It will be the first All-Star Game appearance since 2012 and third overall for Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle.
“It’s obviously very humbling, especially with the amount of talent there is in the game, on our team, everywhere,” he said. “Looking at the rosters, it’s one of those things you pinch yourself a little bit but obviously excited to represent our team.”
Eight of the top 10 in the NHL in points were selected: Kucherov (65), Rantanen (62), Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (61), MacKinnon (60), Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau (59), Wheeler (50), Kane (50) and Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak (50). Not chosen were Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner (54 points) and Lightning forward Brayden Point (52).
Drew Doughty, a defenseman with the Los Angeles Kings is looking forward to a trip to San Jose
“Obviously you’re not very happy with the way the year is going, both as a team and individually. I wish it were going better, but it’s still an honor to be picked for the All-Star team. I’m really excited to be going, and I can’t thank my teammates enough for helping me out and making me look good out there.
“I’m sure I’ll get booed, and, you know what, I get booed sometimes there even when we’re just playing a normal game. I’m sure I’ll be ready for it, and it makes me laugh. To be honest, I love getting booed by the other team. It’s great.”
Matthews (Atlantic), MacKinnon (Central) and McDavid (Pacific) are fan-voted captains. Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was voted captain of the Metropolitan Division but announced Jan. 2 he will skip the game to rest in preparation for the remainder of the season. Montreal Candiens goalie Carey Price was also selected, but announced on Jan. 7 he will also skip the game to rest. He was replaced by Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Lightning.
One remaining spot in each division will be filled through the 2019 NHL All-Star Last Men In presented by adidas fan vote.
The coach of the team with the highest points percentage in each division at the halfway point of the regular season (41 games) will coach his division’s All-Star team.
The 2019 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place at SAP Center on Jan. 25 (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS), one day before the game.
Here are the rosters:
Atlantic Division (All-Star appearance)
F Jack Eichel, BUF (2nd)
F Nikita Kucherov, TBL (3rd)
F * Auston Matthews, TOR (3rd)
F David Pastrnak, BOS (1st)
F Steven Stamkos, TBL (6th)
F John Tavares, TOR (6th)
D Thomas Chabot, OTT (1st)
D Keith Yandle, FLA (3rd)
G Jimmy Howard, DET (2nd)
G Andrei Vasilevskiy, TBL (2nd)
Metropolitan Division (All-Star appearance)
F Sebastian Aho, CAR (1st)
F Cam Atkinson, CBJ (2nd)
F Mathew Barzal, NYI (1st)
F Sidney Crosby, PIT (4th)
F Claude Giroux, PHI (6th)
F Taylor Hall, NJD (3rd)
D John Carlson, WSH (1st)
D Seth Jones, CBJ (2nd)
G Braden Holtby, WSH (4th)
G Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (5th)
Central Division (All-Star appearance)
F Patrick Kane, CHI (8th)
F * Nathan MacKinnon, COL (3rd)
F Ryan O’Reilly, STL (2nd)
F Mikko Rantanen, COL (1st)
F Mark Scheifele, WPG (1st)
F Blake Wheeler, WPG (2nd)
D Miro Heiskanen, DAL (1st)
D Roman Josi, NSH (2nd)
G Devan Dubnyk, MIN (3rd)
G Pekka Rinne, NSH (3rd)
Pacific Division (All-Star appearance)
F Johnny Gaudreau, CGY (5th)
F Clayton Keller, ARI (1st)
F * Connor McDavid, EDM (3rd)
F Joe Pavelski, SJS (3rd)
F Elias Pettersson, VAN (1st)
D Brent Burns, SJS (6th)
D Drew Doughty, LAK (5th)
D Erik Karlsson, SJS (6th)
G Marc-Andre Fleury, VGK (4th)
G John Gibson, ANA (2nd)
* Fan-elected captain