With the initial All-Star roster having come out recently I couldn't help being reminded at how much the current NHL All-Star selection system aggravates me, as it feels it is aggressively set up to always snub a handful of players. This is mainly as rosters for each division need to feel somewhat coherent and obviously need to include a goaltender. Yet only one goaltender is included per division and only one player from each team but there has to be one player from each team. Due to this there are some major snubs again this year, it didn't feel right to not put out a short piece of discussing the top guys who certainly deserved an All-Star spot and need to get in on the fan vote.
1. David Pasternak (Boston Bruins)
This is a no-brainer, this guy is a Hart candidate, how is he not an all-star. I'm not trying to disparage Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark who is very deserving of an All-Star spot, but there is no reason that we should have to pick between the two of them. They are both among the best players at both their position and in the league. At the end of the day when a guy is second in goals and fourth in points, while having 21 more points than the next player on his team, he should be an all-star without a doubt. This is even more true when your team is at the top of the league standings. I would love to see a coherent explanation for why this guy is not an All-Star but be warned this one is going to be very hard to make convincing.
2. Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche)
This argument isn't going to be that different from the one above. Again we got a guy who's a genuine Hart candidate, who scored more 16 more goals than everyone else on his team and has been the team's primary offensive force this season. On top of this Rantanen managed to not only avoid slowing down, but actually increased his production in the absence of typical linemate and superstar Nathan McKinnon. While Cale Makar is certainly deserving of an All-Star spot and is likely to rightfully get Norris Buzz again this year, there's just no reason both of these guys shouldn't be in the game
3. Rasmus Dahlin (Buffalo Sabres)
Dahlin has been one of the best defenseman in the league and was near the top of our recent Norris Trophy rankings. Teammate Tage Thompson has certainly proved himself among the game’s elite playmakers this year and is therefore quite deserving of an All-Star spot. Dahlin however is just a hair behind him and has emerged as one of the NHL's brightest young stars on the blue line this season. Dahlin is tied for first in goals and second in points among blueliners with 13 and 46 respectively.
4. Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)
Nobody suffers more than the only one player from each team thing than Leon Draisaitl. Most people I believe would comfortably say Draisaitl is one of the top 10 players in the NHL. Yet as he plays for the same team as the guy most would consider the best player in the NHL, he is going to get sandbagged when it comes to the all-star selection. There is absolutely no reason he should not be an all-star given his talent, he's currently second in points league wide for crying out loud.
5. Ilya Sorokin (New York Islanders)
Okay this one bothers me the most because sometimes people get lost in a name, they think oh this guy he's has to be an All-Star Game he's so good. Yet the all-star game is very much supposed to be about what have you done so far this season, barring the occasional career achievement all-star award. When it comes to this season looking at the Metro Division I think it's abundantly clear which goalie should have been the All-Star selection, Ilya Sorokin. No disrespect to New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin, the Metro goalie pick, but he has been worse than Sorokin by almost every metric and has multiple teammates namely Adam Fox who seem quite deserving of an All-Star selection. Sorokin’s Islanders meanwhile have some good players, but if you had to pick one of them for the All-Star game I think nine out of 10 NHL fans would say Sorokin. The Vezina candidate is fifth in goals against average, second in save percentage and goals saved above expected in the league; all while his team gives up the most high danger scoring chances. Sorokin is an All-Star plain and simple
- Austin Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)
- Adam Fox (New York Rangers)
- Trevor Zegras (Anaheim Ducks)
If these above names don't prove that the current all-star selection needs to be adjusted I don't know what does. With the twitter all-star vote starting Thursday we have to do our part and get these guys to the all-star game.