Canucks’ 3 2022 All-Star Game Candidates

The NHL is set to announce their All-Star teams on Jan. 13, with the Vancouver Canucks expecting two players to be named to the Pacific Divison team. The problem is, there are three players (Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller, and Thatcher Demko) who deserve to be part of the festivities this season, despite the team’s poor record. Since each team needs to be represented, it is doubtful the Canucks will be able to send all three players to Vegas. Here are why each of the three players deserves to be named an All-Star and why they might miss out this season.

Quinn Hughes

Why He Should Be Named an All-Star

Hughes is one of the most dynamic defensemen in the NHL. This season, his 28 points are good enough for ninth in the NHL amongst defensemen, and he is the leader in points amongst all Pacific Division defenders. He has stepped up his defensive game, adding penalty killer to his repertoire since Bruce Boudreau arrived at the beginning of December.

Quinn Hughes Vancouver Canucks
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Hughes excels at three on three, which is what the NHL All-Star game is played at. The last time he was a participant, he even impressed Wayne Gretzky. Selecting Hughes to the team should be a no-brainer as he has been the most important skater this season on the Canucks.

Why He May Not Be Named an All-Star

The only way that Hughes does not make the All-Star team is if the other two Canuck players on the list get selected. The NHL will not be sending three Canucks, so it will most likely be him along with the other two mentioned below. He is the best defenceman in the division right now and deserves to be representing Vancouver in Vegas.

Thatcher Demko

Why He Should Be Named an All-Star

Demko has been the Canucks’ best player this season. The fifth-year player is one of the best goaltenders in the league and has been mentioned in the Vezina Trophy conversations these last few weeks. He currently ranks in the top 10 for wins and top 15 in save percentage (SV%) and goals-against average (GAA) amongst starting goaltenders in the league.

Vancouver Canucks Thatcher Demko
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ben Nelms)

There is little question that Demko kept the Canucks afloat through the Travis Green era of the season. He has faced the second-most shots of any goaltender this season yet does not get the same respect around the league due to the Canucks team’s record. So far, it has been a difficult season for him, and a trip to the All-Star Game would be a much-earned reward for his strong play.

Why He May Not Be Named an All-Star

Jacob Markström will be one of the goalies named to the All-Star team, which means there is one spot available. This will come down to with John Gibson of the Ducks or Demko. Both have the same SV% and GAA, with the main difference being wins. Both deserve to be All-Stars, and deciding who gets to go may be the closest amongst all voting races.

J.T Miller

Why He Should Be Named an All-Star

Miller is currently the team leader in points and is in the top 20 amongst all players in the league. He has been the Canucks’ best forward all season and is on pace for a new career-high in points this season. With other players like Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser not living up to expectations, he has stepped up his game and become a team leader.

Miller is currently in a tie for fifth amongst Pacific Division players in points and is in sole position of fifth when it comes to assists. It will be his first All-Star Game in his NHL career and second as a pro if selected. During the 2012-13 season, he participated in the American Hockey League All-Star Game while playing for the Connecticut Whale.

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Based on his play, he has a strong chance to make the team as not only has his entire season been successful, he has a history of success at three on three.

Why He May Not Be Named an All-Star

Besides competing with others on the Canucks, the forward group for the Pacific Division is so deep; it may knock him out of contention. Players like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisital, Johnny Gaudreau, and Troy Terry will already be taking up spots, and he may be overshadowed because the NHL needs to ensure at least one player per team makes the roster. Yes, Miller has been the best Canucks forward this season, but it may not be enough as every team in the Pacific has at least one forward under serious consideration for the event.

Which Two Canucks Will Go?

Based on the Pacific Division, it looks as though Hughes and Demko will be representing the Canucks this year at the All-Star Game. Another reason that this duo should be selected is because they were both voted to the All-Star team as part of the writer’s vote. There is still a chance for Miller as he has been one of the best players around the league, but don’t be surprised if he is left off this year.

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