NHL All-Stars: Leafs-heavy Team Matthews faces Canucks-heavy Team Hughes

League: NHL

Posted on: 02 Feb, 2024 at 07:10 AM

Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

With Toronto the host city, naturally Auston Matthews loaded up on his Maple Leafs teammates when choosing his squad for the NHL All-Star tournament on Saturday.

Matthews, along with his assistant captain and teammate Morgan Rielly, made sure to keep the Maple Leafs all together during Thursday's draft, selecting William Nylander and Mitchell Marner to their team.

"We're looking forward to getting this thing going," Matthews told the Sportsnet/ESPN broadcast crew during the four-team draft. "I know Toronto's going to bring the noise for everybody. It's going to be a good weekend."

Team Matthews, with singer Justin Bieber the celebrity captain, also selected goaltenders Jake Oettinger of the Dallas Stars and Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers.

His team, which will face the squad headed by Quinn Hughes and Jack Hughes in the semifinal three-on-three game on Saturday, added the Arizona Coyotes' Clayton Keller, the New York Islanders' Mathew Barzal, the Nashville Predators' Filip Forsberg, the Detroit Red Wings' Alex DeBrincat and the Rangers' Vincent Trocheck.

Not to be outdone, Quinn Hughes loaded up on his Vancouver Canucks teammates. With brother Jack of the New Jersey Devils unable to play due to injury, Quinn's squad filled up on players from the Canucks, who sit atop the Western Conference standings.

Goalie Thatcher Demko and forwards Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller were called by Quinn Hughes and his co-captain, and another Canucks teammate, Elias Pettersson.

"We got five of six Canucks, something we were looking to do," Quinn Hughes said. "I'm happy with our squad."

Elias Lindholm, whom the Canucks acquired via trade from the Calgary Flames on Wednesday, was the exception.

Hughes, whose celebrity captain is singer and diehard Canucks fan Michael Buble, also nabbed the Tampa Bay Lightning's Nikita Kucherov, the Winnipeg Jets' Kyle Connor, the Ottawa Senators' Brady Tkachuk, the Devils' Jesper Bratt, the Anaheim Ducks' Frank Vatrano and Los Angeles Kings goalie Cam Talbot.

The winner of the Matthews-Hughes game will face the victor of the clash between Team MacKinnon and Team McDavid. The champions will split a $1 million prize.

--Field Level Media