Tonight at 8 p.m. EST the NHL will hold its "fantasy draft" to divvy up players for this weekend's All-Star Game and Skills Competition in Columbus. You can watch the 18-round draft live on NBC Sports (U.S.), Sportsnet and TVA Sports (Canada) as well as a live stream at NBC Sports Live Extra and live commentary at nhl.com.
Selecting from a pool of 42 players (the remaining 36 All-Star selections plus six rookies) will be:
- Team Foligno captain Nick Foligno (from the host Blue Jackets), along with assistants Drew Doughty of the Kings and Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks.
- Team Toews captain Jonathan Toews (Kane's teammate in Chicago), along with assistants Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks and Rick Nash of the Rangers.
Once selected, the two squads will compete in the skills competition on Saturday, Jan. 24 (7 p.m. EST, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports) and the All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25 (5 p.m. EST, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
- They'll flip a puck to determine which team selects first. The remaining 36 All-Stars will then be selected through 18 rounds.
- Each team will be comprised of three goaltenders, six defensemen and 12 forwards.
- Each team's three goaltenders must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team's six defensemen must be picked by the end of Round 15.
- One trade per team is allowed.
- The six rookies participating will be divided by the NHL into two groups of three. At the completion of the 11th round, a puck will be flipped again to determine which Captain chooses his group of rookies.
The NHL did this a few years ago, when Phil Kessel was memorably picked last. There has been no All-Star weekend the last two years because of the lockout and the Olympics, which are both organized by rich men fighting over money.