With Taylor Hall set to miss the next couple of games due to a hand injury, and with that injury putting his All-Star Game prospects in jeopardy, we look at the players who are worthy of replacing the New Jersey Devils forward if he has to miss this weekend’s festivities.
There was already an argument that Kessel deserved to be at the ASG over Sidney Crosby. He was leading the Penguins in points then and two weeks later, he continues to pace Pittsburgh with 21 goals (tied with Evgeni Malkin) and 54 points, three more points than Crosby.
Couturier has already smashed his previous career highs in both goals (26) and points (47). He’s been part of the reason that Claude Giroux is already headed to the ASG and deserves to be there himself.
At third would have to be Sebastian Aho. The talent in the Metropolitan is evident with his snub. He’s clearly the best player on the Carolina Hurricanes this season (no disrespect to Teuvo Teravainen).
Aho is well on his way to eclipsing his rookie-season totals and a big reason why the Hurricanes are three points back of a playoff spot.
Beyond those three guys, there’s a few that certainly deserve the honor:
- Anders Lee has 27 goals this season, seven off the pace he set last season with half the season to go.
- Jakub Voracek leads the NHL with 45 assists, four more than teammate Giroux.
- Evgeni Malkin. Not having a bad year.
It’s important to remember that the at-least-one-player-per-team rule goes out the window when it comes to replacing another All-Star.
There are certainly some very deserving names that didn’t get the first call.
But life’s about second chances.