ThrasherBacker is trying to get a little information for every player who has made it to the All Star Game this year. This is a tough feat with the amount of players we have, but we will not give up trying!
Next on the list is our Defense. We have already spotlighted Alternate Captain Mike Green for the Washington Capitals, Dustin Byfuglien of the Atlanta Thrashers and Zdeno Chara with the Boston Bruins, but there are so many more players that have also earned their place in the All Star Lineup.
Kris Letang – #58 Pittsburgh Penguins – drafted in the 3rd round of the 2005 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut in the 2006-2007 season only to be scratched and sent back down to Val-d’Or for further development. He was quickly brought back up to the Penguins in the 2007-2008 season after receiving the Emile Bouchard Trophy as the best defenseman, the Paul Dumonth Trophy as the best personalilty and the Kevin Lowe Trophy as the best defensive defenseman. After being called up to Pittsburgh, Letang would be invited that same year to the NHL Youngstars Game . In 2009 he was invited again to the NHL Youngstars game. In May 2009, Letang scored his first playoff goal against the Washington Capitals, which eventually became the game winning goal and the beginning of the road to the Stanley Cup Champions.
Duncan Keith – #2 Another representative from the 2010 Stanley Cup Champions
A childhood Boston Bruins fan, his favorite players were D – Ray Bourque and F- Cam Neely as well as Wayne Gretzky. Duncan Keith brought home Olympic Gold in the 2010 Winter Olympics for Team Canada in Vancouver (an amazing game).
In his 2005-2006 rookie season, he scored 9 goals and 25 points while averaging over 23 minutes of ice time in 81 games for the Chicago Blackhawks. He followed up this season with 2 goals and 31 points in 2006-2007, led the team in average ice time and Lead the team in blocked shots with 148. The following season averaged 24:31 minutes of ice time and led the team with plus-minus of +14 which eventually led him to his first All Star appearance.
By October 2008, Keith was awarded Alternate Captain and recorded another 44 points during regular season and 6 more points in post season play. By 2009-2010, he would rank second in defense with 69 points, behind Mike Green of the Washington Capitals. This was the higest total for a Blackhawks defenseman since Chris Chelios’ 95-96 season where he tallied up 72 points. He received his first nomination for the Norris Trophy and would be awarded the trophy on June 23 of 2010.
After losing 7 teeth in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, Duncan Keith skated back on the ice and helped take the Chicago Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup finals since 1992 where they woudl eventually better the Flyers for the Championship Trophy. Not a bad exchange for 7 teeth.
Dan Boyle – #22 San Jose Sharks
Current Alternate Capital for the San Jose Sharks, Dan Boyle completed his 1999 Rookie season with the AHL All Rookie Team Honours as well as Second Round Team Honours in both 1999 and 2000. He spent his first few seasons in the NHL first with the Florida Panthers then with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he would eventually win the Stanley Cup in 2004. In the 2005-2006 season, Boyle excelled to a 15-goal, 53-point season and recorded his first NHL hat trick in 200. He would finish the 2006-2007 season with 20 goals, 43 assists and 63 points.
During pre-season in 2007, a freak accident in which a skate fell from his locker and severed 3 tendons, caused him problems and multiple surgeries forcing a rather delayed return in January 2008. Boyle was later traded to the San Jose Sharks where he would rack up 16 goals and 57 points over 77 games, leading all team defense man.
In 2010 Dan Boyle would also bring home Gold to Team Canada in the Winter Olympics
Brent Burns – #8 Minnesota Wild
Brent Burns began his career as a Right Winger, leading his team in playoff scoring in his 2002-2003 season. As he began his professional careerwiththe Wild, his moves on the blueline would soon earn him a place in the defensive line where he would remain contributing 16 points by his 2005-2006 season. Throughout 2006-2007 he would continue to grow as a defenseman, bringing his total points up tp 25 and by 2007-20008 was almost doubling that number with 43 point and 15 goals. The next two seasons would haunt Burns with injuries.
Erik Karlsson – #65 Ottawa Senators
Drafted in just 2008, Erik Karlsson has not even played two full seasons in the NHL as of yet. He had his first NHL Goal on November 27, 2009 and has remained in the NHL ever since. This will be his first NHL All Star appearance. he currently has 8 goals and 28 points.
Shea Weber – #6 Nashville Predators
Weber played 28 games during his rookie season, finishing with 2 goals and 10 assists. In 2007 he made the roster for the NHL Youngstars Game. Plagued by injuries his entire NHL career until 2008 when he began to establish himself as a leading defencemen in the NHL. He would set a new Predator record by a defenceman in a single season and was named to the NHL All Star Game in Montreal, Quebec. On July 8, 2010 he was named Captain for the Nashville Predators, the youngest Captain in franchise history and the only captain drafted by team. Just over a month after being named captain, his mother passed away after being placed in an induced coma.
Mark Staal – #18 NY Rangers
Staal played for Team Canada World Junior Ice Hockey Championships and brought gold home in both 2006 and 2007. On October 4, 2007 he made his first NHL Goal and was one of 16 rookies to play in the 2008 Youngstars competition.
Keith Yandle – #3 Phoenix Coyotes
Brought into the 2010 All Star game as a replacement for Tobias Enstrom (out with a broken finger). His first playoff game was in 2010 in which he scored the first goal and was one of the 3 stars of the night. Currently tied for the most points by a defense man in January and sitting as Alternate Captain for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Results from the NHL ALL Star draft and spotlights on our captains/ coaches coming next!