NHL All-Star Game 2020 Rosters: Analyzing All 4 Division Teams

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 09:  Connor McDavid #97 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the first period at the Bell Centre on January 9, 2020 in Montreal, Canada.  The Edmonton Oilers defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The 2020 NHL All-Star Game marks the fifth time in the event's history in which the format is a three-on-three tournament with four divisional squads. 

The Pacific and Metropolitan Divisions have alternated victories in the competition, with the Metropolitan coming out on top in 2019. 

The Atlantic and Central Division teams have reached the final round of the bracketed tournament, but neither has earned titles. 

Since the Metropolitan side is without Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, the Atlantic squad could have a favorable path to the final from the semifinal between Eastern Conference divisions.

Four St. Louis Blues headline a Central roster that will look to become the first side to win the event as the host division at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. 


NHL All-Star Game Roster Analysis

Atlantic Division

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Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

In order to reach the final, a team needs to score goals at a high rate. Only one semifinal winner in the current format needed fewer than five tallies to advance. 

The Atlantic squad should not have issues finding the back of the net, as it has the NHL's top scorer David Pastrnak of Boston leading the squad. Buffalo's Jack Eichel, who is fifth in goals with 28, is the other leader of the forward line. 

Pastrnak and Eichel are the only two forwards on the Atlantic roster with prior All-Star experience.

Ottawa's pair of Brady Tkachuk and Anthony Duclair, Detroit's Tyler Bertuzzi, Florida's Jonathan Huberdeau and Toronto's Mitch Marner are all making their All-Star debuts in St. Louis. 

Huberdeau may be the X-factor in the three-on-three format since he sits fourth in the league in assists with 47. 

If he is able to produce quality passes at a high rate to his side's top two scorers, Atlantic could put pressure on Metropolitan from the start. 

Atlantic also has two experienced defensemen in Montreal's Shea Weber and Tampa Bay's Victor Hedman, who have 10 All-Star appearances between them. 

This squad carries the largest advantage in net, as Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy and Toronto's Frederik Andersen rank first and third in wins, as well as third and seventh in saves. 

Even without Boston's Tuukka Rask in net and Toronto's Auston Matthews on the ice, the Atlantic has the potential to be the most dynamic scoring team. 


Metropolitan Division

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 17: Kris Letang #58 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 17, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The composition of the Metropolitan roster is different from past years because Ovechkin, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are not participating this season. 

Ovechkin was selected to the squad, but he opted not to play. The team was forced into more changes due to injury absences of a few players, including Pittsburgh's Jake Guentzel and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers. 

That leaves Penguins defenseman Kris Letang as the Metropolitan captain, as he is one of two players with five or more All-Star appearances. Washington goalie Braden Holtby is the other.

Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who is the defender with the most points in the NHL, could be key to springing a victory over Atlantic. 

Carlson has the 10th-best point total with 60 and ranks third in assists with 47, which is 13 more than the next-best defenseman. 

A pair of young stars could try to fill the scoring void left by Ovechkin, Crosby and Malkin. 

Philadelphia's Travis Konecny is one game removed from a two-goal performance, and he has three goals and two assists in his last five appearances. 

New Jersey's Nico Hischier is one goal away from his 50th-career tally in three seasons, and he has 12 goals and 17 assists in the current campaign.

In Carlson, Letang and Columbus' Seth Jones, Metropolitan has plenty of defensive experience, and they could be key to stopping some attacking moves in a wide-open game with two fewer skaters on the ice. 

Matthew Barzal of the New York Islanders, Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, Washington's T.J. Oshie, Carolina's Jaccob Slavin and Tristan Jarry of Pittsburgh round out the Metropolitan roster. 


Central Division

Billy Hurst/Associated Press

David Perron, Ryan O'Reilly, Alex Pietrangelo and Jordan Binnington will represent the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on home ice Saturday. 

The last time the Central Division had home-ice advantage in the All-Star Game it lost 9-6 to the Pacific squad in the semifinals in Nashville in 2016.

In fact, last year's event marked the first time the Central squad made it to the championship, which it lost to Metropolitan. 

While those four will receive the loudest ovations at Enterprise Center, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon could be the most important player on the roster. 

MacKinnon is the top scorer in the Central with 30 goals, which is fourth-best in the NHL, and he sits third in points with 72 thanks to his 42 helpers. 

The four-time All-Star, who is also serving as the team's captain, should be involved in tons of offensive pressure when he is on the ice. 

Chicago's Patrick Kane, who leads all players at the event with nine All-Star appearances, should combine well with MacKinnon. He is the only other Central player in the top 10 in points with 63

With Dallas' Tyler Seguin and Minnesota's Eric Staal both playing in their sixth All-Star Game, the Central has the most experienced roster, as only Perron and Binnington are making their debuts.

Binnington and Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck combined for 43 wins, which is three shy of the Atlantic duo's total, so opponents may find trouble attacking the net for every second Central is on the ice.

Other members of the squad are Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele and Nashville's Roman Josi.


Pacific Division

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

The Pacific roster has the best one-two punch of the four squads in Edmonton's Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

McDavid leads the league with 76 points from 27 goals and 49 assists. Draisaitl is one point behind his teammate with 75 points from 27 tallies and 48 helpers. 

The Oilers pair has the most potential to take over the three-on-three format by themselves since there will be plenty of space to create in. 

There is a drop off in production after them, as Vancouver's Elias Pettersson is the only other member of the Pacific squad in the top 15 in points. 

Pettersson and Vegas' Max Pacioretty are the only other top-25 scorers in the squad alongside McDavid and Draisaitl.

San Jose's Tomas Hertl and Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar are experienced players who could provide a boost in secondary scoring behind the must-watch Edmonton duo.

Pacific could surprise some with its goalie play, as Calgary's David Rittich and Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom are both in the top 10 in wins and have save percentages over .900.

Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, who is making his third All-Star appearance and is in his 14th NHL season, could be the team's X-factor in stopping transition moves and providing support in the offensive zone. 

Vancouver's Quinn Hughes and Matthew Tkachuk of the Flames, both of whom are making their All-Star debuts, round out the Pacific squad.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from NHL.com 


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