The votes have been cast. We now know who will be representing their teams in the NHL’s All-Star Game. A Toronto Maple Leafs forward took the last spot.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a roster full of stars, but only those voted-in can be named NHL All-Stars. On Saturday, it was announced that there will be one more player at the events in blue and white.
The league announced the four final players to be named 2020 All-Stars. They are St. Louis Blues forward David Perron, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, and the Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner.
These four players made it into the game through the NHL’s “Last Men In” campaign. With the All-Star game splitting players based on the geographical location of their club team, these players will each represent their respective divisions.
Toronto Maple Leafs All-Stars
This is Marner’s first All-Star nod. It also happens to be the first time his teammate and goaltender, Frederik Andersen, has been bestowed the honour of being voted into the game.
The three Toronto Maple Leafs will be going to St. Louis, MO for the festivities which take place January 24 and 25. They will be showcased in the annual skills competition and 3-on-3 tournament. The three men will represent Toronto on the Atlantic Division roster.
Marner’s place in the game is well-deserved. He has played well enough to be on the NHL leaderboard with the 15th most goals and 27th most points in the league. This season, Marner has registered 11 goals, 31 assists, and 10 penalty minutes with an average of nearly 21-minutes on-ice per night.
Looking Back on Previous Games
In total, there were over 18 million votes cast this year to determine who would be selected to participate. Last year, the fans recognized Matthews and made him the team captain of his division team.
The Leafs were also represented by their current captain John Tavares. Unfortunately, the fans didn’t believe that Tavares’s current campaign is All-Star worthy so he will not be back this year.
Having multiple players on the roster is a nice change for the Maple Leafs. It is only their second consecutive year to be able to claim this feat.
Prior to having Tavares join him, Matthews was the only man to represent the Leafs for two years. Before that, in the 2016 game, Leo Komarov was the sole member of the team. That was also the same year the NHL adopted the 3-on-3 format.
In 2015, the NHL’s last time running an All-Star draft to compose the teams, Phil Kessel was the only person to represent the Leafs.
That was the same year Alex Ovechkin was the last player drafted after Kessel made it desirable years earlier. The Leafs winger was also the lone Leafs representative in 2011 when he won a new hybrid Honda CR-Z and was given $20,000 as a result of being the final pick of all 42 All-Stars.
Now in 2020, the Leafs are no longer the laughing stock of the League. They are not just well represented, but an argument can be made that they are under-represented thanks to all the talent that plays in Toronto.
We now wait to see which skills competition events each of the Leafs will be trying though all three players are sure to represent their team well.