Update: Contrary to an earlier report, it appears that Aaron Ekblad will appear in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game while Johnny Gaudreau will be limited to the skills competition. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston clarified as much.
Ekblad takes Erik Johnson’s spot among All-Star defensemen while Sidney Crosby’s slot will simply remain empty (rather than being filled by Gaudreau as originally expected).
Before you split hairs about the likes of P.K. Subban not getting the call, note that some players probably didn’t want it at this point. As Johnston points out, a lot of players are already on vacation, so the league is making a logical decision in using players who are already planning on being there anyway.
Ekblad, 18, is tied for second on the Florida Panthers in scoring with 25 points and is averaging 22:04 time on ice per night. Gaudreau, 21, is third on the Calgary Flames with 35 points, almost defying the nickname “Johnny Hockey” in that he’s enjoyed about the opposite first campaign of his Cleveland Browns counterpart.
Even though Gaudreau isn’t getting the nod after all, it wouldn’t be surprising to see both as All-Star fixtures going forward.