As the holiday season comes to an end and the new year comes in, most hockey fans look forward to the NHL All-Star Game. Everyone enjoys the chance to see their favorite players from their division come together and take on the other divisions in the league.
The division that wins gets the bragging rights and award money. In addition, the Most Valuable Player gets a car. In recent years the game has gotten more fun to watch, with the John Scott saga of 2016 and the migrating to the three-on-three format that opens up the ice for a faster-paced game.
Which Anaheim Ducks Deserve to go to the NHL All-Star Game?
The Anaheim Ducks have had a rough start to the season with several injuries to key players. However, with that bad comes the good of seeing what the next generation of Ducks players brings to the table.
Today, we are going to discuss which of the Ducks roster deserves to take the trip to Tampa Bay to represent the Ducks in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game.
Kevin Roy deserves to represent the Ducks at the All-Star Game. This 24-year-old rookie has netted six goals and one assist in 23 games with the big team this season. He has played fantastic hockey with the Ducks this season, even earning a spot on the top line at times.
Roy is definitely earning a spot in the big league this year and it seems that Bob Murray and Randy Carlyle agree. Some of the moves they have been making by putting veteran players like Jared Boll and Dennis Rasmussen on waivers is making room for the young players on the roster. Roy has been playing very well this year and it would be fun to see him out there with Johnny Gaudreau and Connor McDavid.
Ondrej Kase made a name for himself last season with the Ducks mostly playing third line minutes with veteran center Antoine Vermette and Nick Ritchie. He has been moved around a lot this season. At times he found himself on the first line and playing on the shutdown second line.
The Czech native has nine goals and six assists in 26 games this year. He missed several games at the start of the year after taking a late hit from Los Angeles Kings defensemen Kurtis MacDermid in November.
After returning from the concussion that left him sidelined, he has not missed a step, even putting up enough goals to be tied with Jakob Silfverberg for second in goals at one point. Kase plays a very technical game and has very good hands that would make the Pacific Division a real contender in the games this year.
John Gibson has played some stellar hockey this year. He currently holds a 13-12-4 record with a GAA of 2.72 and a save percentage of .922. Those numbers do not nearly give the man enough credit. He has put up highlight-reel saves all season long.
Since being drafted in the 2011 draft, he became a full-time roster member over Anton Khudobin in the 2015-16 season and played in a 1A/1B situation with Frederik Andersen. The duo earned the William M. Jennings Trophy for allowing the least amount of goals during the regular season.
After Anderson’s departure in the offseason, Gibson assumed the reigns as the full-time starter in the 2016-17 campaign. He led the Ducks to the Western Conference Finals before falling to the Nashville Predators in six games. Through all that time his growth in the league has been outstanding and he is definitely a good player to go to represent the Ducks.
Rickard Rakell deserves to go to the All-Star game and represent the Ducks the most. He leads the team in goals with 14, six of which have come in the last five games, and overall points with 27. In addition, he’s third in assists with 15.
Rakell had a breakout year in the 2015-16 season breaking the 20-goal plateau for the first time. Even playing in a slightly abbreviated season due to contract negotiations last year, he led the team in goals with 33 goals and 18 assists, a career year for him.
He plays top line alongside Ryan Getzlaf and the combination has an amazing chemistry between them. Rakell who naturally plays center has a knack for the wing and gives Carlyle a second faceoff man on the first line. He has been deserving of a trip to the All-Star Game for at least the last 2 years and it would be great to see him in Tampa Bay this year.