The 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend officially begins tonight with the All-Star Fantasy Draft at 8 P.M. Team Chara and Team Alfredsson will draft their respective teams from the pool of All-Stars, which can be found here.
Our NHL editor Randy Holt and I decided to have our own mock All-Star draft, with Randy taking control of Team Alfredsson and myself in charge of Team Chara.
Each team will consist of 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goaltenders.
The rules of the fantasy draft are simple: all goaltenders must be off the board by round 10, while all defenders must be drafted by round 15. This is to prevent the final picks from being predetermined based on a team’s positional needs.
Zdeno Chara is joined by alternate captain Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Daniel Alfredsson starts with New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on his side.
Team Chara won the coin toss and the initial pick in the draft, so without further ado, let’s get started.
Team Chara: Evgeni Malkin, F, Pittsburgh Penguins
Team Chara gets things started by taking the NHL’s overall points leader in probably the least surprising pick in All-Star Fantasy Draft history.
Team Alfredsson: Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia Flyers
Team Alfredsson starts pumping some bad blood into the game already by selecting Malkin’s cross-state rival Giroux, the NHL’s second leading scorer.
Team Chara: Tim Thomas, G, Boston Bruins
The ageless Thomas comes off the board early to keep Alfredsson from holding probably the two best netminders in the league with Lundqvist already in net. The selection should also comfort Chara, knowing his own goaltender will line up behind him.
Team Alfredsson: Pavel Datsyuk, F, Detroit Red Wings
Probably the best pure puckhandler in the National Hockey League, taking Datsyuk gives Alfredsson a ridiculous 1-2 punch down the center of the lineup with Giroux already on his side.
Team Chara: Steven Stamkos, F, Tampa Bay Lightning
The soon-to-be 22-year-old has already taken the NHL by storm, scoring 51 goals in 2009-10, 45 goals last season and already notching 32 goals in just 48 games this season, putting him on pace for 55 at the end of the year.
Team Alfredsson: Shea Weber, D, Nashville Predators
The first defenseman to come off the board, the 26-year-old Weber is truly a do-it-all defenseman. While his physical side may not be on display at the All-Star game, both sides will look forward to Weber competing with Chara once again the Hardest Shot competition.
Team Chara: Daniel Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks
As hard as it may be for Chara to select a Vancouver Canuck, Daniel’s 104-point season a year ago is too much to ignore.
Team Alfredsson: Marian Hossa, F, Chicago Blackhawks
Still one of the great two-way players in the game, Hossa is on pace for nearly 90 points this season and fits nicely alongside either Giroux or Datsyuk. This move, though, leaves…
Team Chara: Henrik Sedin, F, Vancouver Canucks
…Henrik and Daniel on the same All-Star team. Enough said. The only counter to this pairing may be…
Team Alfredsson: Ryan Suter, D, Nashville Predators
…Suter and Weber on the same All-Star team. Man.
Team Chara: Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators
Team Alfredsson: Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings
Team Chara: Jimmy Howard, G, Detroit Red Wings
Team Alfredsson: Jason Spezza, C, Ottawa Senators
Team Chara: Marian Gaborik, F, New York Rangers
Team Alfredsson: Brian Campbell, D, Florida Panthers
Team Chara: Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens
Team Alfredsson: Brian Elliott, G, St. Louis Blues
Team Chara: Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins
Team Alfredsson: Dion Phaneuf, D, Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Chara: Keith Yandle, D, Phoenix Coyotes
Team Alfredsson: Dan Girardi, D, New York Rangers
Team Chara: Corey Perry, F, Anaheim Ducks
Team Alfredsson: Kimmo Timonen, D, Philadelphia Flyers
Team Chara: Phil Kessel, F, Toronto Maple Leafs
Team Alfredsson: John Tavares, F, New York Islanders
Team Chara: Dennis Wideman, D, Washington Capitals
Team Alfredsson: Patrick Kane, F, Chicago Blackhawks
Team Chara: Alex Edler, D, Vancouver Canucks
Team Alfredsson: Jarome Iginla, F, Calgary Flames
Team Chara: James Neal, F, Pittsburgh Penguins
Team Alfredsson: Milan Michalek, F, Ottawa Senators
Team Chara: Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars
Team Alfredsson: Tyler Seguin, F, Boston Bruins
Team Chara: Logan Couture, F, San Jose Sharks
Team Alfredsson: Scott Hartnell, F, Philadelphia Flyers
Team Chara: Jordan Eberle, F, Edmonton Oilers
Team Alfredsson: Jason Pominville, F, Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo’s Jason Pominville is the last selection in our mock Fantasy All-Star draft. If that happens tonight, Pominville gets a car. Not a bad trade-off.
Taking a crack at putting these players together on lines, here’s what the two sides would probably look like:
Neal – Malkin – Gaborik
D Sedin – H Sedin – Perry
Lupul – Stamkos – Kessel
Benn – Couture – Eberle
Chara – Karlsson
Letang – Wideman
Yandle – Edler
Kane – Giroux – Hossa
Michalek – Datsyuk – Iginla
Seguin – Spezza – Alfredsson
Hartnell – Tavares – Pominville
Weber – Suter
Campbell – Phaneuf
Girardi – Timonen
Chara’s top top three lines are pretty spectacular and combined with a top defensive pairing of Chara and Karlsson could seemingly score at will, but a Kane/Giroux/Hossa line and the fantasy of seeing Datsyuk and Iginla skate together would be worth the game’s ticket price alone. Plus, a Weber/Suter defensive pairing could be up to the task of shutting down any All-Star line.
With comparable goaltenders on each side, which team do you readers think would win this game?
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Follow Randy on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd