Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was named an All-Star for the third time in his career and made his position clear on the game, suggesting the best of the best should be included instead of one player from each team being guaranteed a spot.
In 23 games, MacKinnon has six goals and 29 assists for the Avalanche. He will be in the All-Star Game with the Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin and Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, among others.
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) celebrates with center Nazem Kadri (91) and right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) after McKinnon scored a goal against the Nashville Predators during the third period Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Nashville. The Predators won in overtime 5-4. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
MacKinnon’s teammate Nazem Kadri was among those who missed the initial All-Star cut.
“It’s silly. I don’t think every team should send a guy,” the veteran Avalanche center said, via The Athletic. “It’s an All-Star Game, not a participation game.”
Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche plays against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena Jan. 11, 2022, in Nashville. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Kadri, a longtime NHL center, is leading the NHL with 35 assists to along with 13 goals. He’s never made an All-Star Game.
Ovechkin led all vote–getters in the Metropolitan Division to earn the captaincy. He’s making his 13th All-Star Game.
In this Tuesday, March 14, 2017, file photo, Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, looks on from the bench during the first period against the Minnesota Wild in Washington. (The Associated Press)
As for MacKinnon, he will lead the Central Division. Other division mates joining him on the roster are Kyle Connor of the Winnipeg Jets, Alex DeBrincat of the Chicago Blackhawks, Kirill Kaprizov of the Minnesota Wild, Clayton Keller of the Arizona Coyotes, Jordan Kyrou of the St. Louis Blues, Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars, defenseman Cale Makar of Colorado and goalies Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators and Cam Talbot of Minnesota.
All-Star Game festivities are set for Feb. 4-5 in Las Vegas.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.