The NHL announced its 2019 All-Star roster on Wednesday night.
Three San Jose Sharks players — center Joe Pavelski and defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson — highlight the four-division team format, as the Sharks will host this year’s festivities, which begin with a skills competition on Jan. 25.
Auston Matthews (Atlantic Division), Connor McDavid (Pacific), Nathan MacKinnon (Central) and Alex Ovechkin (Metro) were selected as captains for the game by a fan vote. The rest of the rosters were filled out by the NHL Hockey Operations Department.
However, earlier Wednesday, Ovechkin announced he would not be participating in the game.
“My body needs a rest,” Ovechkin told reporters.
The 33-year-old Ovechkin, who would have been taking part in his eighth All-Star Game, has played in all 33 games this season and leads the Washington Capitals with 45 points. Ovechkin’s 29 goals lead the league. Per NHL rules, the Russian captain will be suspended and have to sit out one game — either directly before the All-Star break (Jan. 23 at Toronto) or directly after (Feb. 1 against Calgary).
The format for the All-Star event will follow that of last season’s event, with a four-team, 3-on-3 single-elimination tournament.
Every team is required to have at least one representative, which of course led to some snubs. The biggest: Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point, who ranks seventh in the league with 52 points, and Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner, whose 26 goals only trail Ovechkin for the league lead.
Jack Eichel is the Sabres’ lone representative, despite the team’s impressive turnaround from last place in 2017-18 to their current status in a playoff position.
One remaining spot in each division will be filled through the 2019 NHL All-Star Last Men In presented by Adidas fan vote. Voting opens at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday and closes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Jan. 10.
Here are the rosters:
Atlantic Division (All-Star appearance)
F Eichel, Buffalo (2nd)
F Kucherov, Tampa Bay (3rd)
F Matthews, Toronto (3rd)
F David Pastrnak, Boston (1st)
F Stamkos, Tampa Bay (6th)
F John Tavares, Toronto (6th)
D Thomas Chabot, Ottawa (1st)
D Keith Yandle, Florida (3rd)
G Jimmy Howard, Detroit (2nd)
G Carey Price, Montreal (7th)
Metropolitan Division (All-Star appearance)
F Sebastian Aho, Carolina (1st)
F Cam Atkinson, Columbus (2nd)
F Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders (1st)
F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh (4th)
F Claude Giroux, Philadelphia (6th)
F Taylor Hall, New Jersey (3rd)
D Carlson, Washington (1st)
D Seth Jones, Columbus (2nd)
G Holtby, Washington (4th)
G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (5th)
Central Division (All-Star appearance)
F Patrick Kane, Chicago (8th)
F MacKinnon, Colorado (3rd)
F Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis (2nd)
F Mikko Rantanen, Colorado (1st)
F Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg (1st)
F Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg (2nd)
D Miro Heiskanen, Dallas (1st)
D Roman Josi, Nashville (2nd)
G Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota (3rd)
G Pekka Rinne, Nashville (3rd)
Pacific Division (All-Star appearance)
F Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary (5th)
F Clayton Keller, Arizona (1st)
F McDavid, Edmonton (3rd)
F Pavelski, San Jose (3rd)
F Elias Pettersson, Vancouver (1st)
D Burns, San Jose (6th)
D Drew Doughty, Los Angeles (5th)
D Karlsson, San Jose (6th)
G Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas (4th)
G John Gibson, Anaheim (2nd)