The 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina saw the league institute a new draft format to team selection for the first time.
The All-Star Game has been on hiatus since 2012 due to a lockout-shortened season and the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, but the game and its draft format are back for 2015.
Elliotte Friedman noted on this week’s edition of “Headlines” during Hockey Night in Canada that festivities for the 60th NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio set for January 24-25 at Nationwide Arena will include a draft. The All-Star draft eschews traditional measures for team selection such as by conference or the North America versus the World format which ran from 1998-2002.
In its inaugural run, participating players voted on team captains, who became hometown Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings. The 2012 game in Ottawa featured then-Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Boston Bruins defenceman Zdeno Chara as team captains. The captains play the role of general manager, drafting fellow all-stars for their respective rosters and a team compromised of rookies as well.
In previous years, the draft has taken place on Friday night with players taking sides for Saturday’s SuperSkills Competition.
Forward Zemgus Girgensons of the Buffalo Sabres along with Chicago Blackhawks forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, defencemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, and goalie Corey Crawford were named the first six NHL All-Stars for 2015 via a fan vote earlier on Saturday.