New York Islanders leading scorer Mathew Barzal will be their representative at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose later this month.
The Skills Competition is on Jan. 25, and the single-elimination three-on-three, division vs. division tournament or “All-Star Game(s)” will be held Jan. 26.
Barzal is one of 10 first-timers selected for the event. He leads the Isles with 26 points and 26 assists.
Here’s the Metropolitan Division roster, with the number of ASG appearances this will be:
F Cam Atkinson, CBJ (2nd)
F Mathew Barzal, NYI (1st)
F Sidney Crosby, PIT (4th)
F Claude Giroux, PHI (6th)
F Taylor Hall, NJD (3rd)
D John Carlson, WSH (1st)
D Seth Jones, CBJ (2nd)
G Braden Holtby, WSH (4th)
G Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (5th)
Alex Ovechkin has already decided he’ll skip this year’s event, meaning he’ll have to sit out a regular season game for the Capitals.
The full roster for all divisions is posted at nhl.com. They were announced Wednesday, and determined by some league cabal that ensures Rory Fitzpatrick and John Scott never happen again. There is also a “Last Man” ballot that fans can vote on over the next week; the Islanders’ candidate on that ballot is captain Anders lee.
For the Islanders, who just began a stretch of 11 games in 20 days, Barzal’s selection is probably ideal. The skills event and game suits him, and he’s young. Meanwhile, they don’t have one of their goalie risking injury in the groin-testing fest, nor an older player adding miles instead of a mid-season rest break.