Creating a B/R NHL All-Star Team

Ryan O'LearyFeatured Columnist IMarch 6, 2013

It seems that more and more the NHL's brightest young stars are being illuminated on a daily basis. The stars of the league are living up to their billing, while thrilling fans with their exploits and talents.

Key figures such as John Tavares of the New York Islanders, Nail Yakupov of the Edmonton Oilers and Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks have been integral to their teams, just as the fans expect of their favorite players.

That brought up an interesting idea: Who would start the NHL All Star Game this year, strictly based on merit and not a popular voting system?

It's all about skill and contribution—the top six forwards, the best four defensemen and the most impressive goaltenders from the first half of the NHL season.

You'll find a lot of the typical names on this list, Crosby and Giroux included, but you'll also find out in this piece which other players' first half performances have been  impressive enough to make them NHL All Stars according to Bleacher Report.

Also, feel free to leave a comment on who would make up your All Star Game for 2013.