The defending Stanley Cup champs will be well-represented in Columbus, Ohio, during NHL All-Star Weekend. The league announced Saturday afternoon that the Los Angeles Kings will send two players, center Anze Kopitar, defenseman Drew Doughty, to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game Sunday, Jan 25., at Nationwide Arena.
Rookie winger Tanner Pearson will also be on hand that weekend as one of six rookies selected, but he will only compete in Saturday’s skills competition.
Just down I5, the Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was selected as well, garnering his third career All-Star nod. It’s also the third selection for Kopitar and the first for Doughty and Pearson. It’s the first time since 2002 that the Kings have sent multiple players since 2002.
It’s hard to imagine a game without two of the best centermen in the league and Kopitar and Getzlaf are more than deserving. Kopitar has 30 points while Getzlaf has 45 with a plus-six rating. He was named the player of the month for December after he led the Ducks to the best record in the league despite being without top scorers Corey Perry and Kyle Palmieri and without defeseman Francois Beauchemin.
However, it comes as somewhat of a surprise that Getzlaf will be the Anaheim player in attendance. Second line center Ryan Kesler has 12 goals and 17 assists and his linemate Matt Beleskey is 12th in the league with 17 goals in a breakout season.
Kings head coach Darryl Sutter will coach one of the teams, along with Nashville Predators’ coach Peter Laviolette.
Five players were chosen by fans earlier this month, four coming from the Chicago Blackhawks with the top vote receiver being Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons. An additional 36 All-Stars and six rookies were chosen by the NHL.