RALEIGH, North Carolina – There were three young and talented Avalanche players participating in the NHL All-Star game and attendant festivities over the weekend at the RBC in Raleigh, North Carolina. One of them seems to be making quite a splash in the NHL related media.
Paul Stastny and his father, former Nordiques, Devils and Blues star – Peter Stastny, became the eighth father and son combination to play in the NHL All-Star game. The younger Stastny has steadily become one of the Avalanche’s brightest stars. Already in his fifth professional year , Stastny is still just a kid at 25. His goal and an assist for Team Staal was a worthy contribution in their one point All-Star game loss.
Avalanche rookie defenseman, Kevin Shattenkirk, also had a successful All-Star experience. He was the only Avalanche player to record a goal in the All-Star breakaway and he contributed to the Team Lidstrom win in the All-Star relay contest.
Picked third in the 2009 NHL entry draft by the Colorado Avalanche was Center Matt Duchene. Playing in the Western Conference, away from the east coast spotlight, Duchene continues to impress those who follow the Avalanche as well as a few who have ben made aware of what this young man brings to the NHL.
The just turned 20 year old Duchene’s guileless, squeaky clean, and wholesome “Beaver Cleaver” visage along with some breathtaking hockey moves has made him the perfect poster boy for the NHL. Even more important are his open and honest communication skills and comfortable use of new technologies. All these attributes made him one of the most quoted, photographed, and videoed members of the 2011 All-Star’s.
Via Twitter before the Friday evening player draft Duchene spilled the beans about the new car to be given to the last guy picked. The cameras picked him up often in the group of players waiting to be picked and while wearing a mic his comments were witty and entertaining.
Although no one wanted to be last – of all those sitting there Matt Duchene likely would have been the least offended at becoming Mr. Irrelevant. The Honda that Phil Kessel quickly dismissed would have been appreciated and possibly even driven by the young Colorado All-Star.
Duchene’s on ice performance consisted of a beautiful breakaway goal in the All-Star game to complete the comeback from a 4 to 0 first period deficit on the way to the 11 to 10 win for the Lidstrom team. Duchene was also awarded a penalty shot , the first ever in an All-Star game, when Alex Ovechkin threw his stick in a desperate attempt to stop another breakaway. Unfortunately for Duchene it was stopped by New York Ranger’s goalie Henrick Lundquist. Yet the big win for the NHL was the introduction of Matt Duchene as possibly the new face of the league.