Dylan Larkin can add “three-time NHL All-Star” to his résumé.
The Detroit Red Wings captain was among the selections announced Thursday evening, when initial rosters for next month’s event were revealed. Under a new format, the NHL department of hockey operations selected one player from each NHL team in each division, making up the initial eight-man rosters for each division.
The All-Star Game and NHL All-Star Skills event runs Feb. 3-4 at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida, home to the Florida Panthers. There will be four teams, representing each division, each consisting of nine skaters and two goaltenders, and the format is three-on-three.
Larkin’s Atlantic Division teammates include Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark, Buffalo Sabres forward Tage Thompson, Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov, Ottawa Senators forward Brady Tkachuk, Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, and Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk.
The three remaining players (two skaters, one goalie) per division will be selected as part of the online fan vote, which runs through Jan. 17.
It’s Larkin’s second straight All-Star honor; his first came 2016, when he was the first Wings rookie to play in the All-Star Game since Steve Yzerman in 1984.
Larkin leads the Wings with 13 goals and 33 points in 35 games. Defenseman Filip Hronek (26 points, plus-13 rating) would also have seemed a worthy candidate.
The Wings endured a scare in mid-December when Larkin suffered a hand injury. He ended up missing only one game, but he was hampered enough that Michael Rasmussen was moved onto Larkin’s line in order to take faceoffs. Larkin seems largely to have recovered his form, as he has started taking more draws.
While Larkin won’t get as much time to rest and recharge as his teammates during the mid-season break, he will get several days’ worth of downtime. The Wings’ last game before the All-Star weekend is Jan. 27, after which they don’t play again until Feb. 7.
Contact Helene St. James at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her latest book, “On the Clock: Behind the Scenes with the Detroit Red Wings at the NHL Draft,” is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.