Meet the YoungStars
2008 Western Conference YoungStars Team
Defensemen: Alexander Edler (VAN), Erik Johnson (STL), Jackson Johnson (LA), Matt Niskanen (DAL)
Forwards: Sam Gagner (EDM), Patrick Kane (CHI), Peter Mueller (PHX), David Perron (STL)
2008 Eastern Conference YoungStars Team
Defensemen: Tobias Enstrom (ATL), Kris Letang (PIT), Mike Lundin (TB), Marc Staal (NYR)
Forwards: Nicklas Backstrom (WSH), Brandon Dubinsky (NY Rangers), Tyler Kennedy (PIT), Milan Lucic (BOS)
The release I saw didn't have goaltenders on there, and it appears the YoungStars will be shooting on Martin Brodeur and the other all-star netminders in their game.
I like the spirit of having young players at the event, but you're going to be hard pressed to find fans in Atlanta who will know who most of these 'stars' are, let alone want to watch them skate around pylons. The problem for the NHL now is that most of the league's true young superstars will be playing in what Evgeni Malkin called the 'adult' game last year.
Maybe this will at least give little-known future stars like Perron and Enstrom exposure to a larger audience than they've had to this point.
I don't know what the format is for this game yet, but it's safe to say it'll be vastly different from last season's game given how well that one went over. One idea I had was to have the YoungStars compete in their own skills competition, and the top finishers could have a chance to topple some of the more established players.
Someone like Perron might even be able to challenge in something like the fastest skater competition.
Key omissions: Carey Price, Martin Hanzal, Andrew Cogliano, Torrey Mitchell, Tom Gilbert, James Sheppard, Josh Harding, Mike Smith
Labels: All-star game