NHL All-Star Game 2012: Lesser-Known Stars Who Will Dazzle on Big Stage

Michael DixonAnalyst IIIJanuary 28, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 26:  John Tavares #91 of the New York Islanders waits for a faceoff in an NHL hockey game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on December 26, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

While they may be All-Stars, not every player playing in Sunday's game is on the radar of your average sports fan. That is going to change after they see what these stars are capable of. 

Playing on bad and/or small market teams has kept these studs relatively unknown. After they shine on a stage with the rest of the world's best, that is no longer going to be the case. 


John Tavares, C, New York Islanders

It is too bad that the Islanders have been down for so long, because Tavares's first three NHL seasons have been nothing short of great. Always drawing the opposition's best defenders and having little talent around him to distribute the puck to, look at what Tavares has done. 

  Goals Assists
2009-2010    24 30
2010-2011 29 38
2011-2012 20 29

He is only getting better and will fly past 30 goals this year. Even with the lack of fellow stars, Tavares is still capable of making things happen. 

Now, with talent around him and in a game that allows for a lot of open ice, Tavares will get an opportunity to show the world what he is capable of. Also, since he's only 21, we'll be getting a nice glimpse at the league's future.  

Jason Pominville, LW, Buffalo Sabres

It was a few years ago, but this is one of the absolute prettiest goals that you will ever see. 

On open ice, Pominville with a chance to skate and puck handle is worth the price of admission alone. 

He has been a reliable stud all season, already at 17 goals and 30 helpers. The small market of Buffalo keeps Pominville under raps, but true hockey fans know just how good this guy actually is.

Pominville is not just a highlight reel skater. He is also capable of getting off a good shot from anywhere on the ice. It would be surprising if he didn't bury at least one during the game.


Keith Yandle, D, Phoenix Coyotes

The city of Phoenix is clearly not an NHL hotbed, so Yandle has flown under the radar throughout his career. That is unfortunate, because he is a stellar two-way defenseman. 

We are not going to see much of his defense on display. If there's one thing that this All-Star Game has taught us, it's that goals are not hard to come by. But what we will see from Yandle is top notch passing, especially now that he's playing with some of the world's best. 

On top of being a good passer and overall tough player, Yandle also possesses a fantastic shot.

With the open ice, don't be surprised to see that uncorked a time or two at team Chara's goalies.