The NHL announced today the list of players that will be available in the first ever All-Star team draft, and Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green of the Washington Capitals were both invited to participate.
In what has been a down year goal-scoring wise for Ovechkin, he is still tied for 11th in the league and leads the Caps in points (15-29-44, plus-10). This is his fourth All-Star selection.
Green (8-12-20, plus-8) struggled early but has picked up the scoring pace lately, registering at least one point in each of the last six games for the Caps. He is also fourth in the NHL in total ice time (26:10). It is Green's first All-Star selection.
I have to admit, I am surprised by the Green selection. He has had seasons where his points totals have been much more impressive, yet failed to earn a nod. He ranks just 27th among defensemen in points this season. One could argue that this has been his least impressive campaign on the offensive end until lately.
His attention in the defensive zone has increased dramatically this season, but it's hard to imagine the justification of his All-Star selection based on what is undeniably the weakest part of his game, and the part which draws the most criticism and left him on the outside when the Canadian Olympic team was announced last season.
As for snubs, on the All-Star team it's hard to argue any Caps player that deserved got left behind. But no Caps rookie was invited to the Rookie SuperSkills Competition. It's fairly incredible that the NHL came up with a list of 12 rookeis to invite to its skills contest -- including three defenseman -- and left John Carlson off the list.
The rookie list does however include Florida forward Evgeni Dadonov, who has played a grand total of 14 games, and Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, with a total of seven assists, and whose TOI is going down as the season progresses. Both players are their team's lone representitive.