Ales Hemsky, Patrik Elias, David Backes Candidates for Last NHL All-Star Picked
Patrik Elias, David Backes and Ales Hemsky could be the final three players fidgeting and fretting as the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft winds down on Jan. 28, two days before the exhibition at RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.
Just like the last one picked in a grade school dodgeball game, the captains of each team under the league's new All-Star game format are going to hurt some player's feelings. Who will be the NHL's version of Mr. Irrelevant?
A relieved Elias and Backes will find homes, leaving Hemsky with no other choice than to join a team by default. This FanHouse prediction comes from a combination of both the Edmonton Oilers forward stats (nine goals and 15 assists) and the rules that govern the draft.
The captains must pick their three goalies by the end of Round 10 and their six defensemen no later than Round 15. That will leave the captains with only forwards to pick from, a thin herd that will be filled with players who are their team's lone representative.
Hemsky, the only player from the Oilers that made the All-Star roster announced on Tuesday, is 124th in the league in scoring (24 points) and 37th among right wings, output that took a hit as he missed time with a groin injury.
Of course, this could all change if one of this trio is selected as a captain or assistant captain -- a prospect Elias could be in the running to attain.
Whichever way it plays out, this is an added dimension that the All-Star weekend didn't have under the old East. vs. West format.