The initial rosters for the 2023 NHL All-Star Game were recently unveiled for each of the league's four divisions. Some of the NHL's top players, as expected, were included in that announcement, which features 32 players: Connor McDavid, Alex Ovechkin, Jason Robertson, Cale Makar, etc.
There's plenty of star power heading to the All-Star Game, which will take place on Feb. 4 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Fla. While a portion of each division roster has already been selected, there are still 12 more players that will become All-Stars for this year's installment.
The three remaining spots on each team will be determined by an All-Star Fan Vote. Fans are permitted to submit 10 ballots every 24 hours at NHL.com/vote and can vote now. All ballots must be submitted on Tuesday, Jan. 17. by 11:59 ET. The final 12 All-Stars will be announced on Jan. 19.
With each team having just one representative selected thus far, there were a few names that were absent in the initial release.
Rasmus Dahlin has been one of the league's most consistent defensemen. Dahlin currently ranks third in points (44) among NHL defensemen behind only Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks and Josh Morrisey of the Winnipeg Jets, who are both going to the 2023 All-Star Game. Dahlin is currently on pace to register 89 points, which would certainly put him in the conversation for the Norris Trophy honoring the league's best blue-liner. There's few defensemen more essential to their team's success than Dahlin.
Connor McDavid is the only NHL player that has racked up more points than teammate Leon Draisaitl so far this season. With that in mind, Draisaitl is certainly one of the most deserving players of an All-Star nod. Aside from McDavid, the Oilers center is the only player that has at least 60 points this season. It also doesn't hurt that Draisaitl ranks fourth in the NHL in assists (40). Obviously, McDavid is going to get the nod when it comes to an Oilers player, but it's quite egregious to see Draisaitl not on the list.
The Boston Bruins have been the league's most elite team all season. Star winger David Pastrnak is the biggest reason why. You're talking about a player that leads the league's best team in points (58), goals (32) and assists (26) and really kept the Bruins afloat when Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy missed time to start off the season. Pastrnak has established himself as one of the most gifted playmakers that the NHL has to offer. It was a foregone conclusion that goalie Linus Ullmark would get the nod for the Bruins considering his insane record. However, if Pastrnak doesn't end up going to Florida, that's just a crime.
It's been a rough season for the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. Still ,one of the team's biggest bright spots has been the play of star winger Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen currently leads Colorado in points (48), goals (26) and assists (22) while staying healthy, which is something that hasn't been kind to the Avalanche. Don't get me wrong, blue-liner Cale Makar is one of the sport's biggest draws, but he ranks just fifth in points among defensemen. Rantanen is by far the more deserving member of the Avalanche considering his ridiculous offensive production.
This is a situation where the wrong goalie from New York ended up getting the nod for All-Star Game. New York Rangers netminder Igor Shesterkin, who is fresh off of winning the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender, was nominated for the league's All-Star Game. But Shesterkin ranks 11th in goals-against-average (2.48) and 13th in save percentage (.916) on the season.
Meanwhile, New York Islanders goalie Ilya Sorokin ranks third in save percentage (.924) and eighth in goals-against-average (2.35) and also has three shutouts to his credit. Sorokin has allowed two or fewer goals in 18 of his 30 games this season. Honestly, the only knock against Sorokin is his win/loss record, but that's not surprising given that Islanders are currently in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division. Regardless, Sorokin deserves a nod and it'll be a travesty if he doesn't ended up making the All-Star team.