All-Star draft sets the stage for big weekend

League: NHL

Posted on: 02 Feb, 2024 at 12:38 AM

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL's All-Star weekend festivities dropped the puck Thursday with the All-Star draft.

There are four teams, each with a captain and an assistant captain who made the selections from the remaining pool of participants setting up Saturday's All-Star Game.

Team Hughes, with Vancouver Canucks star Quinn Hughes and brother Jack, picked Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, who leads the NHL in points, with its top pick and added Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko with the last pick of Round 2 in the snake-style draft.

Team Matthews, with the NHL's goal-scoring leader Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly of the All-Star host Toronto Maple Leafs, selected a pair of Leafs teammates, forward William Nylander and Mitch Marner, in the first two rounds before grabbing Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger.

Team MacKinnon, featuring Nathan MacKinnon and Colorado Avalanche teammate Cale Makar, went with future Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby in the first round. They kept it in the family in Round 2 by selecting Avs goalie Alexandar Georgiev, then took Minnesota Wild forward Kirill Kaprizov.

Team McDavid, led by Connor McDavid and Edmonton Oilers teammate Leon Draisaitl, went with a goalie, Connor Hellebuyck from the Winnipeg Jets, in Round 1. The team turned to top-quality offense with its second pick, tabbing Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak.

The fourth round took on an Arizona flavor when Scottsdale, Ariz.-born Brady Tkachuk was picked by Team Hughes and the Scottsdale-raised Auston Matthews selected Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller.

Matthews cited facial hair as he made his team's seventh-round pick. "The best mustache in the NHL; I quite envy it," Matthews said. "The Nashville Predators' Filip Forsberg."

Michael Buble, celebrity captain for Team Hughes, was pleased following the draft.

"I love my team," Buble told the ESPN2 broadcast. "I love that it looks eerily similar to my fantasy hockey team that's in first place right now."

The final four players, all selected at the conclusion of the presentation, were Anaheim forward Frank Vatrano, New York Rangers forward Vincent Trocheck, San Jose forward Tomas Hertl and Seattle forward Oliver Bjorkstrand.

The All-Star Game is Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, with the All-Star Skills competition Friday night at 7 p.m. ET.

The rosters:

Team Matthews
Celebrity captain: Justin Bieber
Captain: Auston Matthews, F, Toronto
Assistant captain: Morgan Rielly, D, Toronto
Round 1: William Nylander, F, Toronto
Round 2: Mitch Marner, F, Toronto
Round 3: Jake Oettinger, G, Dallas
Round 4: Clayton Keller, F, Arizona
Round 5: Mathew Barzal, F, NY Islanders
Round 6: Igor Shesterkin, G, NY Rangers
Round 7: Filip Forsberg, F, Nashville
Round 8: Alex DeBrincat, F, Detroit
Round 9: Vincent Trochek, F. NY Rangers

Team McDavid
Celebrity captain: Will Arnett
Captain: Connor McDavid, F, Edmonton
Assistant captain: Leon Draisaitl, F, Edmonton
Round 1: Connor Hellebuyck, G, Winnipeg
Round 2: David Pastrnak, F, Boston
Round 3: Rasmus Dahlin, D, Buffalo
Round 4: Robert Thomas, F, St. Louis
Round 5: Sam Reinhart, F, Florida
Round 6: Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Florida
Round 7: Boone Jenner, F, Columbus
Round 8: Nick Suzuki, F, Montreal
Round 9: Tomas Hertl, F, San Jose

Team MacKinnon
Celebrity captain: Tate McRae
Captain: Nathan MacKinnon, F, Colorado
Assistant captain: Cale Makar, D, Colorado
Round 1: Sidney Crosby, F, Pittsburgh
Round 2: Alexandar Georgiev, G, Colorado
Round 3: Kirill Kaprizov, F, Minnesota
Round 4: Sebastian Aho, F, Carolina
Round 5: Tom Wilson, F, Washington
Round 6: Jeremy Swayman, G, Boston
Round 7: Travis Konecny, F, Philadelphia
Round 8: Elias Lindholm, F, Vancouver
Round 9: Oliver Bjorkstrand, F, Seattle

Team Hughes
Celebrity captain: Michael Buble
Co-captains: Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver, and Jack Hughes, New Jersey (Jack is injured and not playing)
Assistant captain: Elias Pettersson, F, Vancouver
Round 1: Nikita Kucherov, F, Tampa Bay
Round 2: Thatcher Demko, G, Vancouver
Round 3: Kyle Connor F, Winnipeg
Round 4: Brady Tkachuk, F, Ottawa
Round 5: Jesper Bratt, F, New Jersey
Round 6: Cam Talbot, G, Los Angeles
Round 7: Brock Boeser, F, Vancouver
Round 8: J.T. Miller, F, Vancouver
Round 9: Frank Vatrano, F, Anaheim

--Field Level Media