A Canuck didn’t get picked until Round 9 and, unsurprisingly, he wasn’t picked by Zdeno Chara. Daniel Sedin, the defending Art Ross winner and 9th in scoring this season, was the 18th pick of the draft. Including the Captains and Alternates, Daniel was the 22nd player to join one of the All-Star teams.
If that seems odd, his brother Henrik is higher in league scoring and went 8 picks later in the 13th round, also to Team Alfredsson. Despite getting picked later than his brother, he managed to chip in a Grade-A chirp when asked about playing against his brother in the last All-Star Game: ”It was nice to play with some good players last year, finally.”
Alex Edler, fifth in scoring amongst defencemen, was the last blueliner picked in the draft, having to wait until round 15 before getting picked by – surprise, surprise – Daniel Alfredsson.
This isn’t the least bit surprising, of course. With Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins captaining the other team, there wasn’t much chance that he would pick any Canucks at all. It was almost certain that Alfredsson would end up picking all three Canucks, particularly since he’s one of the few NHL players who is on the record as not hating them.
Not being hated is about the best the Canucks can hope for at this point.
So Alfredsson played it smart, waiting to pick the Canucks until later in the draft in order to pick up all of his Senators teammates and build a stronger team. In the process, he also ended up with all of the Swedes in the All-Star Game, including himself and his Alternate Captain, Henrik Lundqvist.
Not everything went according to plan, however, as both Cody Hodgson and Senators rookie Colin Greening ended up on Team Chara, though not by choice. The rookies were split into two teams prior to the draft, likely so they’d be properly split for participating in the skills competition. It wouldn’t make much sense to have the two fastest skaters or the two players with the hardest shot on the same team, as only one rookie will be participating in each of those competitions.
The other group of rookies, however, won the puck toss and Sean Coutourier picked Team Alfredsson, leaving the Canuck and Senator rookies to compete for Team Chara. With Greening likely to be the rookie competitor for Team Chara in the hardest shot competition, we won’t get a chance to see Hodgson’s beautiful slap shot go up against the best in the NHL.
Instead, Hodgson will participate in the breakaway challenge, accuracy competition, skills challenge relay, or elimination shootout. My money’s on the accuracy competition.
The really highlight of the All-Star Fantasy Draft is seeing and hearing the NHL’s best laughing and joking with one another. The best of the best was definitely Jason Spezza, followed closely by Erik Karlsson. The two had some golden moments, right from when Karlsson was picked prior to Spezza, joking “Spezza is pissed” while Spezza shook his head and stared into the camera with a near-perfect straight face.
Their best exchange, however, was all about the Sedins.
Spezza: “I wonder if him and his brother will have any chemistry in the game?”
“They don’t even have to talk and they know how to pass the puck to each other, eh?”
“They have a secret language inside their heads.”
Gold.Tags: all-star draft, Daniel, Henrik, Jason Spezza is hilarious, The NHL All-Star Game