Everyone is doing their mock drafts for this weekend’s all-star game, but what about those guys who maybe should have (or at least could have) been playing in the game? That’s what this draft is about – the best of the rest.
Henrik Zetterberg: Perhaps the best two-way forward in the game, Zetterberg’s absence from the game is a head-scratcher.
Pavel Datsyuk: Zetterberg’s teammate is the best all-around center in the sport. An injury probably kept him out of the ASG.
Andrew Ladd: A physical force, Ladd is showing the ability to score as well.
Thomas Vanek: Vanek is averaging just under a point per game for a struggling Buffalo team.
Chris Stewart: Another guy that is probably in Raleigh if he does not get hurt, Stewart has become one of the sport’s pre-eminent power forwards.
Teemu Selanne: At 40, Selanne is still one of the game’s most dangerous offensive players
John Tavares: One of the few bright spots in the Islanders’ line-up.
Milan Lucic: Lucic is in the midst of a breakout season and is developing into a multi-faceted power forward.
Brandon Dubinsky: Quite possibly the Rangers’ MVP.
Patrice Bergeron: One of the game’s best all-around players, Bergeron is underrated by many fans, but coveted by coaches.
Nicklas Backstrom: Not having as good a season as last year, but still has 46 points and is a plus-15.
Lubomir Visnovsky: Another underappreciated guy, Visnovsky is averaging 25 minutes of ice time and has 43 points.
Jack Johnson: One of the game’s best young defensemen with an offensive flair.
Alex Goligoski: Mobile, quick, and sound at both ends of the ice.
Brian Rafalski: Rafalski is one pace for the highest-scoring season of his career.
Christian Ehrhoff: A solid all-around who has been a key guy for the Canucks.
Ondrej Pavelec: One of the season’s best stories: Pavelec collapsed early in the season but has been a wall for the Thrashers since his return.
Jonathan Quick: He was supposed to lose his job to Jonathan Bernier, but Quick has been awesome so far.
Pekka Rinne: At 6-foot-5, Rinne is imposing, but his numbers have been even better (9-3, 1.66 GAA over last 12 starts).
Not to brag, but this team would compete quite well with either one of the other two teams. Too bad these guys will be in the Caribbean instead of North Carolina. On second thought, maybe it’s too bad for the guys who actually will be in the game!