Fantasy draft? We did that back in September/October. When I think of All-Stars I think of the ‘First Team’ and the ‘Second Team’– aka the true cut-off between the superstars and the players who needed to represent their team as a rule. Although the League previously only broke the teams down into first and second teams, we chose to be a bit more creative and further segregate by Conference. Luckily for you, we did all the work as we bring you the mid-season Fantasy All-Star teams!
G – Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Somehow Quick found himself snubbed from the “real” All-Star Game but here we spared no expense bringing him to our All-Star team. Through the Kings’ 41st game, the 25-year-old already won his 18th game as he clearly broke out in his third professional season. He won seven games in both October and December while countering with only eight losses in regulation through the new year. If you grabbed him, it likely came around the 5th round, which proved to be quite the bargain for an elite-level netminder. Don’t be fooled by his lack of wins as of late, Quick continues to get better and fend off his bluechip counterpart Jonathan Bernier.
D – Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes
Yandle, like Quick received a snub from both the fans and the powers that be. Unlike Quick, he will get to play in the fan gala event as an injury replacement for Tobias Enstrom. Not only does Yandle lead all Coyotes’ defensemen in points but he also leads all skaters in points, assists and TOI. His exclusion from the original All-Star roster raises some concerns considering he outproduced any Western Conference d-man not named Nicklas Lidstrom or Lubomir Visnovsky. Regardless, we refuse to snub this talented American, regardless of where he plays.
D – John-Michael Liles, Colorado Avalanche
Liles began the season on an incredible nine-game assist streak where he produced 11 points and at that point led all defensemen in scoring. His efforts were good enough to merit a nod over worthy candidates like Jack Johnson, Alexander Edler and Brent Burns as his ability to push the puck up the ice helps start the Avs’ lethal attack. Considering he was not even drafted in most standard formats, acquiring the 30-year-old would have proved an excellent move.
C – Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings / Brad Richards, Dallas Stars
We originally chose Zetterberg, but due to a sore back we had to replace him with the equally worthy Richards. In all seriousness, both pivots finished slightly worse than our number one choice and came into game 42 with almost identical statistics. Zetterberg proved once again he is capable of carrying this Red Wings team, taking the reigns over from Pavel Datsyuk while Richards continues to man the point for the duration of the powerplay while playing important, first-line minutes. Tie.
LW – Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks
While much on the focus on the Blackhawks discuss their disappointing start or how Corey Crawford took over the starting goalie job, Sharp continues to score at an much higher rate than imagined. Coming into this season, he managed an O-Rank in the 200s, receiving only a small portion of the praise he deserved. His goal-scoring pace has nearly doubled the higher-regarded Patrick Kane, who coincidentally fails to make either of the Western Conference teams due to inconsistency and injury. If you own Sharp this season, try to lobby for a keeper/dynasty format since his secret knack for scoring seems to have spread.
RW – Loui Eriksson, Dallas Stars
There may not be a more underrated player in the League than this dynamic Swedish winger. Although considered to have first broken out in last year’s Olympics, the writing has been on the draft boards for some time now with essentially back-to-back 30-goal campaigns. When stockpiling wingers, scoring consistency leads to success so regardless of where the Stars were destined for the standings, another 30 goals seemed highly probable. Combining that thinking with a choice of two excellent playmaking centers in Richards and Mike Ribeiro and Eriksson seems bound to continue his success in the Big D.
As always, we hope you enjoyed our segment as much as we enjoyed writing it. Feel free to dissect every small decision we decided to make in the comments. We also omitted an “honorable mention” section so feel free to create your own below. In addition we urge you to please follow, or continue to follow us on twitter for the most up-to-date fantasy hockey information @DailyFaceoff.