Lightning’s Brayden Point Should Be a 2023 All-Star

The 2023 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend is a chance for the players to show off in front of their peers and suit up next to their rivals. The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of stars to show off for hockey fans. One of the team’s most explosive players is Brayden Point.

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It would be justifiable if Point were among those representing the team at this year’s star-studded event, which is being held at the Florida Panthers’ FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, from Feb. 3-4, 2023. He is having his best season yet.

Brayden Point Leads Lightning in Goals

On Dec. 28, 2022, Point’s second goal of the night was a highlight reel score that put the Lightning up 3-0 against the Montreal Canadiens. After gaining possession of the puck in the neutral zone, he used his speed to charge toward goalie Jake Allen, keeping control of it while weaving through four players.

Although not all of his goals are worthy of “goal of the year” consideration, his 20 goals lead the Lightning. He also paces the team with six game-winning goals and has scored 10 goals in his last 10 games. His 35 points rank him third on the team, behind Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov.

Brayden Point's 35 points is third on team, behind only Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos
Brayden Point leads the Lightning in goals and is third on the team in points, behind only Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Jamie Hersch, host of the NHL Network’s On the Fly, stated on Dec. 29, 2022, “Brayden Point, somehow, after all the success he’s had—all the success the team has had—I think he’s still one of the most underrated players in the NHL.”

With the talent on the team, he is often overlooked. In his six seasons with the Lightning, he has only played in one All-Star Game, which was in relief of the injured Victor Hedman in 2018.

Point is a Versatile Player

Playing on the top line alongside Kucherov and Brandon Hagel, Point is often referred to as the transmission of the team as he keeps everything moving. The Lightning’s power play is producing at 26.7 percent, and he contributes to that success with six power-play goals, which is second on the team to Stamkos. His speed dazzles the fans and makes for impressive highlights, but he is also smart with the puck on the defensive side, registering 30 takeaways, 11 blocks and 14 hits, so far this season.

The Lightning saw potential in Point, an undersized Calgary native, and took a chance on him in the third round of the 2014 NHL Draft. On Oct. 13, 2016, he made his NHL debut and has steadily improved on both sides of the puck. During his young career, he has amassed 402 points in 450 games and helped Tampa win two Stanley Cups.

Success in the Postseason

It’s no secret that teams need their star players to produce during the postseason—when a defense can smother offensive firepower and take over a game. There is plenty of proof that Point, along with his teammates, produces in the postseason. He has played in 76 Stanley Cup Playoff games and has 78 points and two rings.

Tampa Bay Lightning Brayden Point
Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point is having a sensational season. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)

The Lightning missed Point during last season’s run to the Stanley Cup Final. However, in the nine games he played, he contributed five points while battling injuries. When Tampa won their two Cups, he led the team in goals (14 in 2020-21 and 14 in 2019-20) and ranked second to Kucherov in points. There is no reason to believe that Point won’t continue his playoff dominance if they secure a playoff spot this season.

Lightning Stacked with All-Star Talent

With the stacked roster that the Lightning seem to magically assemble every season, you could make a case for many of these players to be selected as All-Stars. What coach Cooper and general manager Julien BriseBois have accomplished each season—given the constraints of the salary cap—has been nothing less than astonishing.

Related: Lightning Lookback: All-Star Game Selections in Recent Years

In recent years, many Lightning players have been selected as All-Stars. Stamkos leads the team with seven All-Star Game appearances, followed by goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy and defenseman Victor Hedman, who have four each. This year, Point should be recognized for his achievements and represent the team in South Florida. He is having an outstanding season and deserves to be called an all-star.