Brock Boeser was the breakout star of last year's NHL All-Star Game. He dominated the accuracy shooting event during the Skills Competition, then followed that up with an MVP performance during the 3-on-3 tournament the next day, winning a new car and earning contract bonuses and prizes totalling $550,000.
It would be understandable, then, for Canucks fans to be eager to see Elias Pettersson get the same opportunity this year. You might be tempted to vote for Pettersson in the fan voting that has already opened up on the NHL website. Don’t do it.
Don’t vote for Elias Pettersson.
That might sound crazy. You might ask me, “Don’t you like Pettersson? Don’t you want to see him at the All-Star Game?”
Of course I do.
But Pettersson will be going to the All-Star Game whether fans vote him in or not. There’s no way the league will keep the NHL’s leading rookie scorer, with his jaw-dropping puck skills and blistering slap shot, out of the All-Star Game. He’s going.
Canucks fans should, instead, vote for a Canucks player that might not otherwise get to go.
There are two other Canucks on the ballot: Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat. While you can write in a different player, I would recommend sticking with Boeser and Horvat, as a write-in campaign has little chance of succeeding. So, which of the two should you vote for?
They’re both great candidates, scoring at a pretty similar pace this season. I would suggest, however, that your vote should go to Bo Horvat, for several reasons.
First, although Pettersson has been the star of the Canucks, Horvat has put the team on his shoulders for much of the season. He took on a difficult defensive role when Brandon Sutter and Jay Beagle got injured and has scored his 14 goals and 28 points in 32 games while playing with far less offensively-gifted wingers than Pettersson.
Second, Horvat has some fantastic skills of his own, winning the accuracy shooting event at the Canucks SuperSkills over Boeser with a fantastic 4-for-4 performance.
Third, Boeser has a strong chance of getting in even without the vote since he’s the reigning All-Star Game MVP. Sure, that didn’t help John Scott after he won the All-Star Game MVP award, but that was a special circumstance.
Fourth, winning the All-Star Game fan voting would give Horvat the captaincy he already deserves.
While All-Star Game fan voting used to include a vote for the entire starting lineup for each team, the current format has the fans vote for the captains of each Division. Thus, a vote for Horvat is a vote for him to wear the “C” that he arguably should already be wearing with the Canucks.
The 2019 NHL All-Star Game coming up on January 26th in San Jose. Do the right thing: Vote for Bo.