The 2018-19 NHL All-Star game rosters were announced Wednesday night and the biggest conclusion to be drawn is once again not who made it in, but who was left out. Many desering players will be left off the rosters of the annual NHL three-on-three tournament. This is despite their terrific campaigns. The roster announcement also comes with a list of seven or eight players per division that will be voted in by the fans as the last member of each team.
These are the biggest snubs from the final All-Star rosters and ‘Last Men In’ vote.
2019 NHL All-Star Game and Last Men In Snubs
Mitch Marner (RW) – Toronto Maple Leafs: 13 Gs, 40 As, 53 Pts
Marner is having his best season despite all of the injuries around him. He’s having his most productive from a points standpoint and leads all Leafs. His points per game among Leafs only trail Auston Matthews absurd 1.4 PPGs by 0.04 and ranks him eighth overall in the NHL. Marner currently sits sixth in the NHL in scoring. He is one of only two members in the top-15 NHL scorers not already on an All-Star roster or part of the Last Men In vote.
Sean Monahan (C) – Calgary Flames: 21 Gs, 27 As, 48 Pts
Boosted by his crazy hot five assists showing against the Sharks on Monday, Monahan has jumped into the top-15 scorers. The five-point night was the first of his career and his fourteenth multi-point effort of the season. His line of himself, All-Star Johnny Gaudreau, and Elias Lindholm has been debatably the most dangerous scoring unit in the NHL in 2018-19 and is the biggest reason the Flames lead the NHL in goals scored at the midway point. A number of Flames could’ve been named to the All-Star roster after their resurgence. However, Monahan is a leader, scorer, and all-around quality player that is well deserving of his first All-Star appearance.
Timo Meier (RW) – San Jose Sharks: 18 Gs, 17 As, 35 Pts
Coming into the 2018-19 season, the Sharks were once again pegged to be Western Conference and Pacific Division contenders. Their main group of stars have been plagued by consistency issues and picking up their slack was Meier. In Meier’s third year of NHL action, he has broken out and is currently third on his team in scoring and only trails Joe Pavelski for the lead in goals. He’s slowed down as he’s only registered two assists in his past seven outings. However, he has been the Sharks most valuable player thus far in the season.
Victor Hedman (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning: 4 Gs, 20 As, 24 Pts
It isn’t often you can say that a defenceman is having a down year despite putting up 24 points in 33 games (0.73 PPG). However, that is the aura surrounding Hedman. Despite being one of the league’s most complete defenders, he has been snubbed from the All-Star Game. This is because his team has ruled the NHL for almost all of 2018-19. Hedman missed seven games early in the season with an upper-body injury. However, he is still having a great under the radar season. He’s still leading the Lightning in average time on ice while taking good care of the puck and blocking shots. Last year’s Norris Trophy winner ranks 17th among defenseman in scoring. He would likely have made the game had he been on a team in any other division.
Frederik Andersen (G) – Toronto Maple Leafs: 2.50 GAA, 0.923 SV%, 1 SO
A lot of Leafs are chipping in this season due to their depth. However, none bring single player value like Andersen. Toronto’s defence allows the ninth most shots against per game and Anderson does his best behind a defensive core that scores goals. Andersen ranks tied for fifth in save percentage among goalies with 20 or more starts. He has made the second most saves in the league at even strength. He has still managed to keep Toronto at sixth in goals against. It’s always hard to beat out Carey Price in All-Star deservedness but Andersen is having his best season to date and has been the best goalie in the Atlantic Division this year.
Evgeny Kuznetsov (C) – Washington Capitals: 7 Gs, 27 As, 34 Pts
Once again the unheralded hero on the Capitals second line will not be heading to an All-Star game. Frequently forgotten because of the scoring prowess of the Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin line, Kuznetsov is having another strong year in Washington. He missed sixth straight games due to a concussion issue in late November. He has still put up a highly respectable 34 points in 32 games. This comes one season after Kuznetsov was able to finish a year, for the first time, registering over a point per game. His 15 powerplay points are also just two short of the team lead. John Carlson was finally named to his first All-Star game this year and the over saturation of Capitals (despite Ovechkin’s absence) has led to Kuznetsov once again being left unfairly kept out.
There are a number of players this season having breakout season’s for very good teams and have been snubbed from the game. It’s always impossible for an All-Star selection process to satisfy everyone. However, players become household names at All-Star weekend and are then hard to remove from it. The “Last Men In” vote is sure to bring some intrigue leading up to the game. However, it will leave a lot of deserved names out as well.
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Ottawa Senators during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)