With the new year this week, it is that time again for the All-Star game discussions. The game will be played in Toronto this year on February 3rd. Less than a month from the festivities, the first selections for the game were made. The Carolina Hurricanes will be represented by Sebastian Aho.
At just age 26, Aho will be participating in his third All-Star game and on pace for his highest point total in his career. Although Aho is not flashy, he plays a solid two-way game that is very rewarding to the team.
This season, his 8th with the Canes, the former second-round draft choice has 15 goals and 28 assists. He leads the Canes in points and goals after 35 games played. Last season, the Finnish center had 36 goals, the third-highest in his young career.
Last year, Andrei Svechnikov represented the Canes in the All-Star game in Florida. Martin Necas was having a great season and got snubbed. This year, Seth Jarvis was making a case for the selection with 13 goals and 14 assists, which is second on the team in points. Lately, Jarvis had a scoring drought where he had just two goals in December through the holiday break.
This combined with Aho's great play likely put a nail in the Jarvis All-Star coffin.
This year, the NHL is making the All-Star weekend three events, with the return of the player draft. The draft will be on February 1st, while the skills competition will follow on the 2nd. The main event will be featured on February 3rd.
Recently, the NHL All-Star games were played as a 3-on-3 tournament between all the divisions. This year will return to some traditions, being in Toronto.
One more new tradition starting this year is the 3-on-3 showcase game between the top PWHL. The professional women's hockey league began this month with games among the original six teams based out of New York, Boston, Minnesota, Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.
An exciting time for the NHL and hockey, especially after the Winter Classic put the sport at the forefront of the sports world on New Year's Day.