2018 NHL All-Star Game Roster Predictions

With many teams heading into their bye week, the NHL announced its 2018 All-Star Game captains and coaches. Three divisions—the Metropolitan, Atlantic, and Central—paired a player with their own head coach as the captain/coach combo.

  • Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Barry Trotz
  • Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos and Jon Cooper
  • Nashville’s P.K. Subban and Peter Laviolette

Out west, Edmonton’s Connor McDavid will lead the Pacific Division All-Stars with Vegas Golden Knights’ bench boss Gerard Gallant guiding the squad.

All four teams are set to sport some pretty sweet jerseys.

These captains and coaches could use some friends, though. Let’s take a look at the predicted rosters for this year’s All-Star Game in Tampa Bay.

Atlantic Division

Nikita Kucherov Steve Stamkos Anton Stralman Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov is greeted by forward Steve Stamkos and defenseman Anton Stralman (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Line 1 Steven Stamkos Nikita Kucherov Victor Hedman
Line 2 Auston Matthews Brad Marchand Erik Karlsson
Line 3 Dylan Larkin Jack Eichel Aaron Ekblad
Goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy Carey Price

Though the Lightning already have four players plus their coach representing the franchise as they host this year’s event, the case could be made that other players are deserving as well. Vladislav Namestnikov, Brayden Point, and Mikhail Sergachev have each had standout 2017-18 campaigns, but thanks to the small rosters and rule that each team must send a player, they’ll be watching their teammates instead.

Further south in Florida, Aaron Ekblad has quietly had a solid campaign, despite not putting up the offensive numbers that teammates Jonathan Huberdeau, Vincent Trocheck, and Aleksander Barkov have produced. However, there really isn’t one forward above who could be fairly taken out for one member of Florida’s offensive trio. Dylan Larkin, Brad Marchand, and Jack Eichel have lit it up for their respective teams and deserve a trip to Tampa Bay.

Metropolitan Division

Washington Capitals, Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin remains one of the most prolific scores in the game today. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Line 1 Claude Giroux Alex Ovechkin John Carlson
Line 2 Sidney Crosby Taylor Hall Seth Jones
Line 3 John Tavares Josh Bailey Shayne Gostisbehere
Goalies Braden Holtby Henrik Lundqvist

Choosing these 11 players was a difficult task. There are so many talented NHLers in the Metropolitan Division this year, especially at the forward positions. Jakub Voracek, Anders Lee, Phil Kessel, and Evgeni Malkin are all deserving of a roster spot, but have teammates with stronger credentials.

On defense and in net, it was a little more clear. John Carlson, Seth Jones, and Shayne Gostisbehere have had superb seasons on the blue line for their respective teams. Carlson is having a career year for the Capitals – possibly his last, as the defenseman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. His everyday netminder, Braden Holtby, is second in the NHL in terms of wins and has been a rock for the Capitals. Holtby is a true competitor and will pair well with Henrik Lundqvist for the Metropolitan Division as they defend their three-on-three tournament title.

Central Division

PK Subban Predators
P.K. Subban once again will lead the Central Division at the NHL All-Star Game. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Line 1 Nathan MacKinnon Patrick Kane P.K. Subban
Line 2 Tyler Seguin Blake Wheeler John Klingberg
Line 3 Brayden Schenn Vladimir Tarasenko Alex Pietrangelo
Goalies Connor Hellebuyck Devan Dubnyk

If it wasn’t for an upper-body injury, Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele would be joining Blake Wheeler and Connor Hellebuyck in Tampa Bay for the All-Star Game. The resurgent Jets have been scoring goals by the handful en route to the top Central Division record. In addition to the goal-scoring, Hellebuyck has been fantastic in net for Winnipeg and has already garnered some Vezina Trophy consideration.

Another surprise team, the Colorado Avalanche, have been paced by Nathan MacKinnon’s MVP-worthy season. The young forward only trails Tampa Bay’s Kucherov in points with 52 on the year. Imagine pairing him with Patrick Kane up front in three-on-three play?

Don’t sleep on the defense either – the Central Division’s trio of blueliners are more than capable of holding their own in overtime-style play and contributing goals at the other end. Surely, P.K. Subban will make sure his team is ready to go after a disappointing first-round loss in last year’s game.

Pacific Division

Connor McDavid Oilers
Can Connor McDavid light it up at the NHL All-Star Game with a new winger on his line? (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
Line 1 Connor McDavid Johnny Gaudreau Brent Burns
Line 2 Anze Kopitar Jonathan Marchessault Drew Doughty
Line 3 Brock Boeser Clayton Keller Colin Miller
Goalies Marc-Andre Fleury John Gibson

With Gerard Gallant on the bench, it was hard to leave out Vegas standouts William Karlsson and James Neal. However, the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights are represented well by Jonathan Marchessault, Colin Miller, and Marc-Andre Fleury in net. This game will be a proud moment for the first-year franchise – one that wasn’t expected to do much in its inaugural season.

In addition to Marchessault, the Pacific Division will have a dangerous forward group, highlighted by Connor McDavid and Johnny Gaudreau. There’s speed to burn across the three lines, including Miller, Drew Doughty, and Brent Burns manning the point. This squad could follow the Golden Knights’ lead and surprise the rest of the NHL at this year’s All-Star Game.

With these rosters, only one question remains: Who ya’ got?