The four NHL All-Star Game captains were announced by the league on Thursday. Auston Matthews of Toronto Maple Leafs will lead that Atlantic Division while the Washington Capitals‘ Alex Ovechkin will helm the Metropolitan Division. The Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon will captain the Central Division and the Edmonton Oilers‘ Connor McDavid will skipper the Pacific Division.
San Jose will host the All-Star Game on Jan. 26. The Skills competition will be Jan. 25 at the SAP Center. It will be the fourth season that the league in using the 3-on-3 formats separated by division.
NHL All-Star Game Captains Selected
The quartet earned the captain’s slots based on being the top vote-getter for their respective divisions. McDavid received the most overall votes and is a captain for the third straight season.
— NHL (@NHL) December 27, 2018
Ovechkin will captain for the second straight season as he led the Metropolitan for the second straight season and for the third time in four years. He was the division captain in 2017-18 when the game was hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning. It will be his eight All-Star selection.
Matthews and MacKinnon will be first-time captains for their respective divisions. The pair are two of the bright young stars that are on the verge of superstardom. Matthews and MacKinnon will be both playing in his third straight All-Star Game.
The rest of the rosters will be filled out by the league’s Hockey Operations Department.
What This Means
All-Star Games are usually offensive affairs and these captains bring plenty of it. McDavid and Ovechkin have plenty of experience in the mid-winter classic.
Good reviews have followed since the format change. Most players go through the motions and trying not to get hurt in these exhibitions. However, the NHL’s game does have some of that, but the 3-on-3 format lends to more open ice and scoring chances.
ANAHEIM, CA – JANUARY 25: Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center on January 25, 2017 in Anaheim, California. The Oilers shutout the Ducks 4-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)