The NHL All-Star Game will provide the leagues best to showcase the skill and tricks that they may have never been able to pull off in front of a crowd expecting to be wowed.
On Saturday, this years installment in 2024 will be no different as 44 players will go head-to-head in a 3-on-3 formatted exhibition, with $1 million on the line for whoever wins.
Here is a look via X (formerly Twitter) at who will be a part of the game this Saturday, barring any injuries beforehand.
Who would be your No. 1 pick? ☝️
— NHL (@NHL) February 1, 2024
There were a few exclusions like Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel and New York Islanders defenseman Noah Dobson.
But out of this list, there are three players who not only will be representing their respective teams, but have connections back here in the valley.
After moving from San Ramon, California to Arizona and playing youth hockey here from a young age, Matthews has blossomed into one of the perennial superstars of the NHL. Continuing to break record after record, he makes history almost every season and this year is no different. As things stand, Matthews has accumulated 40 goals in 46 games this season (most in the NHL) and added 18 assists for 58 points. From beginning his hockey journey at Ice Den Scottsdale and AZ Ice Arcadia to where he is today, the valley should rally around him as he takes part of the All-Star festivities just around the corner and the Toronto Maple Leafs’ playoff push going forward.
Competing against Matthews for the most popular hockey player with Arizona ties, Keller continues to make a stamp on the sports scene in the desert. Following him being selected as the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Keller has fully taken advantage of having the spotlight that shines on him for the ‘Yotes. Last year, Keller recored by far his best season of his eight-year career, scoring 37 goals and stacking up 49 assists for 86 points in 82 games. While Keller began this campaign off to a bit of a slower start according to his standards, he got hot at the right time before the All-Star Break, posting 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in the last 11 games. He is just three points behind from being a point-per-game player once again, with 20 goals and 24 assists for 45 points in 48 games.
No, the 2023 All-Star MVP Matthew Tkachuk will not make a second consecutive appearance this year. Instead the only Tkachuk bro lacing up the skates this year will be Brady, the captain of the Ottawa Senators. As two sons of Coyotes legend Keith Tkachuk, both Matthew and Brady were born in Scottsdale before leaving elsewhere later in their childhood. Despite the Senators sitting rockbottom of the Atlantic Division holding a 20-25-2 record, Brady has had himself quite the season in Canada’s capital. With 22 goals and 19 assists in 47 games, he will be the lone representative of the struggling Senators’ squad.