The first 18 year old to play in the all-star game? Well, we could have to wait to see who that is. Patrik Laine was the youngest ever player to be named to an all-star team today, but with his concussion, whether he competes is still in question.
A trainer attends to Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) after being checked by Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe – Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
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The NHL`s new all-star format ensures every hockey fan has a smile on their face when they turn the TV on. Every team must be represented, taking away from the real “All-Star” feel, and turning it into a meeting of the best players from each team. Because of this, Winnipeg Jets fans won’t be able to see Mark Scheifele or Nikolaj Ehlers. Don’t let that take away from who will be attending.
Laine was almost a shoo-in to become the Jets only player picked. He’s tied for third in league scoring, although he’s already missed a game with his head injury. A rookie who’s scored 17.7% of his teams goals this season? That’s under one percent less than the league leader in that category, reigning Stanley Cup Champion, captain, and worlds best player, Sidney Crosby. Laine is now part of just the third one-two draft duos to get the call to become all-stars in their rookie seasons.
The NHL’s selection commitee isn’t just interested in the best players either. They want to bring the most intriguing players to the game. Thus John Scott wasn’t forced out of the game last season, as he brought buckets of publicty to a weekend losing it’s identidy. What would be more fun that watching Patrik Laine once again go “four-for-four” in the accuracy shooting competition, racing against all-world talents like Alex Ovechkin, and Tyler Seguin. Imagine Laine rushing the puck down the ice with Vladimir Tarasenko, Patrick Kane , or PK Subban right beside him. That’s exactly what we will be witnessing.
Of course, Laine is just a few days into a concussion recovery that could take weeks not days. Despite this events lack of competitiveness and tenacity, the Winnipeg Jets will still ensure Laine is 100% before he comes anywhere near his skates. We know Laine’s personality would be fun to see on national television, and he’ll be putting in every effort possible to be healthy. He’s got just over two weeks, the countdown is on.