The roster for the NHL All-Star Game was finalized Saturday when the league announced its 36 selections.
As always, there were several “snubs” who deserved to make the roster but were not chosen. This always is going to happen when all 30 teams have to send at least one player to the game. The event will be hosted by the Columbus Blue Jackets and Nationwide Arena on Jan. 25.
Here are three worthy players who weren’t selected. Although, it’s still possible roster changes could be made because of injuries.
Nicklas Backstrom, Center, Washington Capitals
Alexander Ovechkin’s selection was deserved and far from a surprise, but you could argue that his center on the Capitals’ top line was more deserving.
Backstrom leads the Capitals in scoring (40 points) and assists (27) and ranks second in goals (13). He also has points in 25 of his 40 games played.
Backstrom is among three players ranked in the top 15 in scoring who weren’t selected to the All-Star Game.
Jaromir Jagr, Right Wing, New Jersey Devils
Jagr not being the lone Devils representative was a surprise. He has scored three more goals with four more assists and seven more points than teammate Patrik Elias, who was selected by the league.
The 42-year-old forward also leads New Jersey in points (25), assists (16) and shots (99).
Nikita Kucherov, Right Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning lead the Atlantic Division with 58 points and the play of the Ondrej Palat-Tyler Johnson-Nikita Kucherov line is among the reasons why the team ranks No. 1 in goals scored per game. In fact, it’s the highest-scoring line in the NHL with a combined 25 goals.
Johnson was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and his right winger also deserved a trip to Columbus. Kucherov ranks 11th in the league with 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 43 games. Every player in the top 10 was selected.
The Lightning would have had three All-Stars if Kucherov was selected as superstar center Steven Stamkos also made the squad.