NHL 2023 All-Star Game Picks
The NHL’s best stars will take their talents to Florida this weekend for the annual All-Star Weekend. While the skills competitions will take place on Friday night, the main event will occur on Saturday afternoon with the 3-on-3 All-Star Game between the four divisions.
With so much talent between the Atlantic, Pacific, Central and Metropolitan Divisions, seemingly every division could come away with the title this season.
Despite the parity within the league, our staff gives their picks for which division will come out on top.
Josh Bartosik: Metropolitan Division
Not only is the Metropolitan Division the most competitive division in the entire league as of now, it is also the division loaded with the most talent.
The forward core is loaded with talent, with young superstars like Jack Hughes and Andrei Svechnikov and a mix of veteran presences like Sidney Crosby and Johnny Gaudreau.
Not to mention, Alex Ovechkin is joining the squad this year, having decided to not sit out.
There is one key concern for this Metropolitan roster, and that is the inexperience of the roster.
The majority of the roster showcases fresh faces to the All-Star scene, with seven players making their first appearances, including both goaltenders Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin.
Despite that, it’s hard to believe this squad will crumble under the spotlight, given how much talent floods throughout all 12 players.
Led by head coach Rod Brind’Amour, who took the Carolina Hurricanes from bust to best, it’s all or nothing for these players come Saturday afternoon.
Adrianna Gallucci: Metropolitan Division
The Metropolitan Division is the most star-studded division league, but also the youngest.
Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby and Johnny Gaudreau round out the veterans of the team. Ovechkin, who has been selected to eight, has sat out of five All-Star Games but said he will play in this one.
Jack Hughes will play in his second All-Star Game after leading the Devils in goals and points. He’s on track for 55 goals by the end of the season.
The first appearances will run the show for the Metro, including Brock Nelson, Kevin Hayes, Andrei Svechnikov, Artemi Panarin and Adam Fox. Panarin and Fox were selected through the Fan Vote.
Last year’s Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin will share goalie duties for the Metro.
The Metro might have the hottest players in the league, but they’re relatively young and inexperienced, including Ovechkin because this is only the third All-Star Game he’ll actually play in.
No matter the age or number of experiences, these players are here to show up and show the other three divisions that the Metro is not messing around this year.
Ben Pallilo: Central Division
After advancing to the final for the first time last season before losing to the Metropolitan 5-3, the Central looks primed to win their first All-Star Game since the format changed back in 2016.
Let’s start with the star-studded forward group. Reigning Stanley Cup champions Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen headline the group. They are joined by Hart Trophy candidates Jason Robertson and Kirill Kaprizov.
Rounding out the forwards are Clayton Keller and Vladimir Tarasenko, who may not be having their best seasons, but every team needs a representative, so they made the squad.
The blue line is where the Central may have the greatest advantage as they have more natural defensemen than any other squad with three representatives.
The defense is headlined by reigning Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar, who is joined by Seth Jones and a player having a career year in Josh Morrissey.
Between the pipes, the Central have arguably the best goalie tandems in the competition with Juuse Saros and Connor Hellebuyck.
This is another massive advantage for the Central, as they are the only team with both goalies that have previously participated in the All-Star Game.
This feels like the Central’s year to take as their experience should mesh well with head coach Peter DeBoer and allow them to lift their first-ever trophy in Sunrise, Florida.
Ben Palillo is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua Bartosik is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email email@example.com.
Adrianna Gallucci is a first-year student majoring in journalism. To contact her, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.