Thursday, February 22, 2024
Sports Gaming Monitor

NHL Morning Skate: All-Star Edition – Feb. 2, 2024

* The rosters are set for Saturday’s 2024 Honda (U.S.) / Rogers (Canada) All-Star Game after Team Matthews, Team Hughes, Team MacKinnon and Team McDavid selected their teams at the 2024 Tim Hortons NHL Player Draft. On Saturday, Team MacKinnon will face Team McDavid in the first semifinal followed by Team Hughes vs. Team Matthews in the second.

* The start of the Canadian Tire PWHL 3-On-3 Showcase mirrored the start of the inaugural PWHL season thanks to Ella Shelton and Alex Carpenter before defender Savannah Harmon claimed the spotlight with a five-point showing in front of an NHL All-Star Thursday crowd of 16,392.

* A revamped 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook will see 12 of the NHL’s elite go head-to-head in multiple events to accumulate points and determine the $1 million winner.

THE TEAMS ARE SET FOR SATURDAY AFTER RETURN OF ALL-STAR PLAYER DRAFT
For the first time in nearly a decade, NHL All-Star Weekend included a player draft with this year’s twist being that each captain would be selecting their team alongside a celebrity counterpart – Auston Matthews (w/ Justin Bieber), Nathan MacKinnon (w/ Tate McRae), Jack & Quinn Hughes (w/ Michael Bublé) and Connor McDavid (w/ Will Arnett).



* The four teams will be competing in the 2024 Honda (U.S.) / Rogers (Canada) All-Star Game, which returns as a 3-on-3 tournament on Saturday, Feb. 3 (3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS). Under tournament rules, the All-Star Game will be divided into three 20-minute games.

* With the first pick, Team Hughes selected Lightning forward and NHL leading scorer Nikita Kucherov. It marked the third time in four All-Star drafts that a forward was taken with the No. 1 pick and the second time that the No. 1 pick wasn’t selected by a captain that was his teammate (Zdeno Chara chose Pavel Datsyuk first in 2012).

* The home team Maple Leafs will all be together on Team Matthews, as captain Auston Matthews, celebrity captain Justin Bieber and assistant captain Morgan Rielly used their first two picks to select the remaining Maple Leafs participating in All-Star Weekend: William Nylander and Mitch Marner. It will mark the second time in the expansion era (since 1967-68) that the Maple Leafs have had as many player representatives at All-Star Weekend (also 1996: Felix PotvinMats SundinLarry Murphy & Mike Gartner).

* Of the four newly formed teams, Team Hughes has the most combined goals, assists and points in 2023-24; Team MacKinnon has the most combined career goals, assists and points; Team McDavid has the most career All-Star appearances; and Team Matthews has the most career points under the 3-on-3 overtime format.



HARMON NETS 5 POINTS AS 3-ON-3 SHOWCASE MIRRORS START OF PWHL SEASON

The Canadian Tire PWHL 3-On-3 Showcase started much the way the inaugural PWHL season did exactly one month earlier, with Ella Shelton and Alex Carpenter scoring the first two goals. From there, it was Savannah Harmon’s show as she factored on all five Team King goals in the second 3-on-3 women’s game in NHL All-Star history (also 2020).



* On Jan. 1, Shelton tallied the first-ever goal in PWHL history – in Toronto at Mattamy Athletic Centre (the old Maple Leaf Gardens) – followed shortly thereafter by Carpenter as PWHL New York skated to a 4-0 victory that day. The same happened Thursday, though with Shelton and Carpenter playing on opposing teams this time.

* Harmon, who is tied for third in PWHL scoring among defenders so far this season, tallied 3-2—5 to surpass her season total so far (1-3—4 in 6 GP). An NHL defenseman has never collected five points in a regular-season or playoff game at Scotiabank Arena.

* The contest also saw PWHL scoring leaders Carpenter (1-1—2) and Alina Müller (0-2—2) each collect two points. They also share the League lead with three multi-point games this season (alongside Grace Zumwinkle).

* Check out #NHLStats Live Updates for more PWHL stats.

1967 MAPLE LEAFS CELEBRATED AS NHL ALUMNI ’MAN OF THE YEAR’ RECIPIENTS
The NHL Alumni Association announced the 1967 Stanley Cup champion Maple Leafs as the 2024 Keith Magnuson ’Man of the Year’ award recipients in an on-ice ceremony during NHL All-Star Thursday. The NHLAA created the award to honor former players who have applied the intangibles of perseverance, commitment, and teamwork developed through the game into a successful post-career transition.

* Five members of the 1967 championship team were on the ice at Scotiabank Arena for the presentation, including Conn Smythe Trophy winner Dave Keon, alongside Bob PulfordBrian ConacherPete Stemkowski and Mike Walton.



QUICK CLICKS

NHL All-Star Weekend community digest
Maple Leafs legend Dave Keon closes All-Star Player Draft
All-Star Elias Lindholm ready for fresh start with Canucks
Nathan MacKinnonStuart SkinnerElias Pettersson named Stars of the Month
Brock Faber named Rookie of the Month
NHL, NHLPA announce plans to celebrate Black History Month



TWELVE ALL-STARS TO BATTLE IT OUT IN NEW SKILLS FORMAT
The 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook returns Friday at 7 p.m. ET with a revamped format that will see 12 NHL All-Stars competing for points in eight events, with the NHL All-Star who accumulates the most points taking home a prize of $1 million.



* Each player will compete in four of the first six events, earning points for their respective finish in each event. The top eight point-earners from the first six events will participate and choose a goalie to shoot against in the NHL One-on-One event, where the top six total point earners will advance to the final event – the Pepsi NHL Obstacle Course – where the points are doubled.



* Six All-Stars competing in Skills have previously won an event: Connor McDavid (2017, 2018 & 2019 Fastest Skater), Elias Pettersson (2023 Hardest Shot), Cale Makar (2023 Splash Shot), Mathew Barzal (2020 Fastest Skater), David Pastrnak (2019 Accuracy Shooting) and Leon Draisaitl (2019 Passing Challenge). In addition, Connor Hellebuyck (2023 Tendy Tandem) is the only goaltender at the event who has won at Skills.

* The event will also include seven of the League’s top 10 point producers, four of the top-five goal scorers and the top two in points among defensemen. Additionally, according to NHL EDGE data Connor McDavid has recorded the third-highest (tied) top speed of any player this season (24.05 mph), while Nathan MacKinnon (2nd: 182.95) and Nikita Kucherov (4th: 176.81) rank among the top four in total miles skated in 2023-24.

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