2017 NHL All-Star Game Preview: New skills event, rosters, and more
NHL

The best and most talented hockey players will be invading Staples Center in Los Angeles next weekend as a part of the National Hockey League’s Honda NHL All-Star Weekend. The event is more than just a single game, as the Fan Fair begins days before, the unveiling of the final top 100 players occurs on Saturday night, and the Skills Competition kicks off the fun on Saturday while the game itself takes place on Sunday. But we wanted to give you a full preview of what to expect next weekend whether you’re in attendance or watching from home.

Teams

After last year’s Cinderella story featuring John Scott, the league removed the ability to vote for any player in the league, instead of giving fans a handful of superstars to choose. The fans voted for all four division captains this year, choosing Carey Price (Montreal Canadians), P.K. Subban (Nashville Predators), Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins), and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers). Each captain will pick their teams and choose which players best fit the different competition categories. All 44 players will compete in the skills competition and All-Star game and they are as follows:

ATLANTIC DIVISION

Forwards
Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Frans Nielsen, Detroit Red Wings
Kyle Okposo, Buffalo Sabres
Vincent Trocheck, Florida Panthers

Defensemen
Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning
Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators
Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens

Goaltenders
Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens (C)
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

METROPOLITAN DIVISION

Forwards
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (C)
Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers
John Tavares, New York Islanders

Defensemen
Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes
Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers

Goaltenders
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

CENTRAL DIVISION

Forwards
Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Defensemen
P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators (C)
Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks
Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild

Goaltenders
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild

PACIFIC DIVISION

Forwards
Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (C)
Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks
Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

Defensemen
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings
Cam Fowler, Anaheim Ducks

Goaltenders
Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks
Mike Smith, Arizona Coyotes

2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition™

Starting at 4 p.m. PT on NBCSN, the skills competition will show off some of the most talented players in the league trying their hand at various challenges. Back are favorites like hardest shot, fastest skater, and the accuracy challenge, but new this year is the Honda NHL Four Line Challenge. This one is a bit like the old Quarterback Challenges the NFL used to do, where skaters will be positioned up and down the ice trying to hit various targets in the net. The twist here is that a goalie can take a shot from his own net for even more points.

2017 Honda NHL® All-Star Game

Finally, the game remains intact from the way it was played last year: 3-on-3 format, 20-minute games, 10 minute periods, shootouts to determine winners if tied. Nothing new there, but the division that wins the Skills Competition on Saturday does get to pick their opponents on Sunday. 

To keep up to date on all NHL news and coverage of the All-Star Game, visit the league's page at AXS.