The Lightning got a welcome surprise when they found out two of their forwards were going to be representing the team in the All-Star game in Columbus, Ohio. After a two year delay, thanks to the lockout and the Olympics, the Blue Jackets are finally getting to host the All-Star weekend at Nationwide Arena between January 23-January 25, 2015.
Team captain Steven Stamkos will be playing in his third (2011, 2012) All-Star game and Tyler Johnson will be making his first appearance during his second professsional year. As an added bonus, Jonathan Drouin will be one of six rookies to play in the NHL All-Star Competition on Saturday, January 24.
The Atlantic Division leading Lightning will see multiple All-Stars represented for the sixth time in franchise history. The last time this happened was during the 2010-11 season when Stamkos and Martin St. Louis were honored.
It is no surprise that Stamkos, the number one pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, will be playing in his third All-Star game. The twenty-four year old has won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy twice (2009-2010, 2011-2o12). Unfortunately, a broken right tibia forced him to be sidelined for not only 45 regular sesason games last season, but the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In his first game back he was named 10th captain in Lightning franchise history after Martin St. Louis got traded to the New York Rangers.
For Johnson, also 24, the selection to the All-Star game was not as much of a given. Four years ago he was an undrafted free agent from Spokane, Washington. He made his NHL debut late in the 2012-2013 season, and was candidate for rookie of the year, along with fellow Bolt, Ondrej Palat, at the end of last season. Both lost to Avalanche rookie, Nathan MacKinnon.
Jonathan Drouin, 19, will be playing in his first All-Star Skills Competition as one of the rookies. Selected third overall in the 2013 Entry Draft, he currently ranks fourth among the rookies with two goals and 15 assists.
The All-Star Weekend starts on January 23rd with the DraftKings Fantasy Draft (8:00 PM ET on NBCSN). The following evening is the All-Star Skills Competition (7:00 PM ET NBCSN) and on Sunday afternoon (5:00 PM NBCSN) is the All-Star game.