The NHL All-Star Game Weekend is coming up fast on January 25th and 26th in San Jose, California. The NHL nominated eight skaters and two goalies from each division, while fans choose the captain of each team and the final ninth skater for each division's team in the Last Men In poll. To vote, click here!
Captaining the Atlantic is Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs, joined by fellow Maple Leaf John Tavares, who came to Toronto last summer in one of the biggest free agent acquisitions of all time.
As each team is represented, the two defensemen spots went to one of the lower-ranked teams in the division, with Thomas Chabot earning his first all-star debut alongside Keith Yandle of Florida Panthers.
Also making his first appearance will be David Pastrnak, who is having a great season, currently in the eighth spot in the scoring table with 52 points. Jack Eichel is also having a great year, leading his Buffalo Sabres to a wildcard spot at the halfway mark of the season. Eichel makes his second appearance.
Closing out this All-Star roster is the league's top scorer Nikita Kucherov and his Tampa Bay Lightning linemate Steven Stamkos, who have a combined tally of 115 points!
Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche has won the "C" from the fans after launching another challenge at the Hart Trophy for the second season in a row. This will be McKinnon's third appearance, the same number as the goaltending tandem for the Central: Pekka Rinne and Devan Dubnyk.
There are three first-timers-to-be on the Central's roster, including the rookie defenseman Miro Heiskanen, Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets, and the captain's linemate Mikko Rantanen.
Representing the Chicago Blackhawks is the most experienced All-Star by far; Patrick Kane is making his eighth appearance. He is joined by the trio of Roman Josi, Blake Wheeler, and Ryan O'Reilly.
The Metropolitan sports the most experienced pair of goaltenders, with Braden Holtby making his fourth appearance and Henrik Lundqvist his fifth.
To contrast, the trio of Sebastian Aho, John Carlson, and the Calder Trophy winner Matthew Barzal will be making their debuts.
The team is captained by Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins' star has skipped the All-Star Game in the past, so his fourth appearance is not quite certain.
Someone who has appeared a lot in the past is Crosby's rival from the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux. Giroux leads the team with his sixth appearance coming up, while the Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall makes his third.
The Columbus Blue Jackets get a pair of their players in Seth Jones and Cam Atkinson.
The Pacific has the youngest captain of all four teams, with Connor McDavid earning the honor in his third appearance.
The San Jose Sharks are the only team to get three players in the All-Star game, represented by Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, and Joe Pavelski.
Two young forwards are set to make their All-Star debuts, Clayton Keller and Elias Pettersson; however, the debut might be in jeopardy for the latter, as the Vancouver Canucks' rookie suffered an injury this week.
Representing the Los Angeles Kings will be Drew Doughty in his fifth appearance, the same number as Johnny Gaudreau, who joins Doughty on the team.
Marc-Andre Fleury and John Gibson will be tending to the goal for the Pacific.