Only one player has produced more offense this season than Leon Draisaitl.
With 60 points in 38 games, the Edmonton Oilers forward has a chance to crack the 130-point mark for the first time in 27 years. Normally, this would be good enough to win the Art Ross Trophy. But in a year where teammate Connor McDavid leads the NHL with 33 goals and 75 points in 40 games, it’s not even good enough to get Draisaitl to the All-Star Game.
Not without your votes that is.
And he’s not alone.
Draisaitl was not one of the 32 players named to the All-Star Game on Thursday. Part of the reason why is because the NHL requires only one player chosen per team — and Draisaitl wasn’t going to get chosen ahead of McDavid.
Instead, Calgary’s Nazem Kadri is an All Star, even though he is tied for 95th overall with 29 points. The same goes for Anaheim’s Troy Terry (32 points), Philadelphia’s Kevin Hayes (35 points) and Arizona’s Clayton Keller (36 points).
Meanwhile, Vancouver’s Bo Horvat and Boston’s David Pastrnak, who are ranked in the top-5 in goal-scoring, were snubbed. Same with Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, who are among the top-10 in points. And Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin, who is ranked third among defensemen in goals and points.
Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck has the second-most wins and second-best save percentage. He wasn’t chosen ahead of Nashville’s Juuse Saros, who is ranked outside the top-10 in both categories. Neither was Ilya Sorokin of the New York Islanders, who has the third-best save percentage.
We could go on and on and on.
While the NHL has reserved three spots from each division for fan voting, stuffing the ballot box still won’t be enough to get everyone in. Which is a shame.
After all, it’s the All-Star Game — not the All-Inclusive Game.
Here’s a look at 12 players who deserve to be there.
Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
Although he plays in the shadow of the greatest player in the NHL, it’s hard not to be impressed with how productive Draisaitl has been this year. Aside from McDavid, no one is having a better season than the Oilers center, who ranks second in points and is tied for 10th overall with 22 goals.
Bo Horvat, Vancouver
Could a pending trade be the reason why the Canucks captain isn’t heading to the All-Star Game? How else to explain why Elias Pettersson was chosen ahead of Horvat. While Pettersson leads the team with 46 points, it’s Horvat who is ranked fourth overall with 28 goals in 38 games.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton
Only seven players have produced more offense this season than Nugent-Hopkins, who might be one of the most underrated players in the NHL simply because of the team he plays on. After all, it’s easy to rack up points when you’re playing alongside McDavid and Draisaitl. But keep in mind that the Oilers winger has scored more even-strength goals (12) than Draisaitl (8).
David Pastrnak, Boston
No one has won more games or has better numbers than Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark, who is running away with the Vezina Trophy this year and is a big reason why Boston has yet to lose in regulation at home. That being said, Pastrnak should be there with him. Not only is he ranked fifth in goals (27), but he’s also ranked seventh in points (52).
William Nylander, Toronto
The fact that Auston Matthews was snubbed from the all-Snub team tells you how many legitimate all-stars Toronto has on its roster. That being said, Nylander deserves to be there ahead of Matthews and Marner. Not only does Nylander lead the team with 22 goals, but he’s also tied with Matthews with 45 points.
Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo
With 30 goals in 36 games, it was no surprise that Tage Thompson was chosen as Buffalo’s representative. It’s also hard to argue that a non-playoff team deserves to have more than one representative. And yet, with 39 points in 35 games, Dahlin is equally deserving.
Mikko Rantanen, Colorado
It’s tough to argue why Cale Makar was chosen ahead of Rantanen. And yet, Rantanen is having a far better year than the defending Norris Trophy winner. With Nathan MacKinnon missing time due to an injury, it’s been Rantanen — not Makar — who is leading the offense with 26 goals and 48 points in 37 games.
Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg
With 43 points in 38 games, Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey is having the kind of season that should get him some Norris Trophy votes. That being said, the reason the Jets are second in the Central Division is because of Hellebuyck, who is 19-9-1 with a .928 save percentage. Those are better numbers than when he won a Vezina Trophy in 2019-20.
Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis
Vladimir Tarasenko, who was chosen to represent the Blues, is injured and will not be going to the All-Star Game. But the fact that he was chosen ahead of Kyrou in the first place makes little sense, considering that Tarasenko is ranked fifth in team scoring with 10 goals and 29 points. Kyrou, meanwhile, leads the Blues with 19 goals and 38 points.
Adam Fox, NY Rangers
The Rangers defenseman is tied for third in scoring. But whether it was Fox, Artemi Panarin or Mika Zibanejad, someone other than Igor Shesterkin should have been chosen, especially considering that the defending Vezina Trophy winner’s .917 save percentage ranks outside the top-15 this season.
Travis Konecny, Philadelphia
When asked why Kevin Hayes was chosen ahead of Konecny to represent the Flyers, head coach John Tortorella said “I don’t give as—.” In other words, the league got this wrong. Hayes has 10 goals and 35 points. Konecny has 20 goals and 40 points. And he’s played in five fewer games.
Ilya Sorokin, NY Islanders
With Shesterkin getting the nod ahead of Sorokin, the Islanders selected Brock Nelson. It’s a nice recognition for the 31-year-old first-time All-Star. But two wrongs don’t make a right. Shesterkin shouldn’t be going. Neither should Nelson. Instead, it should have been Sorokin, who ranks in the top-5 in GAA and save percentage this season.