The 2011 NHL All-Star game selections have finally been announced, and two Colorado Avalanche players have been honored at this year's event on Jan. 30 in Raleigh, N.C.
Forward Matt Duchene was an easy selection. The 19-year-old is the Avalanche's leading scorer this season in only his second year in the league. He is tied for 11th in the NHL in goals scored with 18 goals, and is 13th in the NHL in points scored with 43. Duchene is the youngest player selected for the All-Star game this season. It is his first career All-Star selection.
Rookie defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk has been selected for the NHL Super Skills competition. Shattenkirk did not break camp with the Avalanche this season, but was called up due to multiple injuries and has thrived since his call-up. He currently has 20 points on the season, and his 15 assists place him third amongst all rookies even though he has only played in 31 games this year.
While Duchene was a worthy candidate, the Avalanche had several other players that received heavy consideration. Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk are both having All-Star caliber seasons, and defenseman John-Michael Liles remains one of the top scoring defensemen in the league. If Chris Stewart had not injured his hand six weeks ago, he would have been the likely selection from Colorado.
This year, the NHL is attempting a different format for the All-Star game. Two captains will select their own roster from the pool of candidates, including Matt Duchene. Instead of the two conferences playing against each other, members from the same team may be selected to play on opposite All-Star rosters.