Devan Dubnyk has been named as a Central Division All-Star and will be the lone representative of the Minnesota Wild at this year's game and skills competition. The NHL is debuting a new format 3-on-3 tournament in an attempt to put a little extra excitement into the annual event that has lost some steam amongst fans. Though Dubnyk must be thrilled to earn the All-Star title, it comes against him in his least-favorite format as he has been outspoken in the past about keeping 3-on-3 statistics separate from regular statistics. Fortunately, he will get his wish this time as All-Star game statistics are not included in regular season totals.
There were many notable snubs across the league, but none more than in the Central Division. With so many power house teams, there would inevitably be several players worthy of naming to the All-Star team. But the limitations of the 3-on-3 roster did have an effect on who was left out and potentially who was included as each team was required to have one participant. The most notable names left off the Central squad were Dallas D John Klingberg, Winnipeg F Blake Wheeler and locals D Ryan Suter and C Mikko Koivu. Because the division has such depth, none of the Minnesota captains were invited, pushing Dubnyk further into the fold.
Dubnyk will share the net with Pekka Rinne, who is sporting a .907 SV% and 2.43 GAA. Dubnyk carries a .921 SV% and 2.28 GAA, but has been playing light's-out recently, sporting a slick .940 SV% since Dec 1. The All-Star bid completes an unbelievable bounceback campaign for a guy who was barely hanging on to his NHL career a year ago. Since then, he was traded, carried his new team to the second round of the playoffs, was a Vezina finalist, won the Masterton, and got a shiny new 6-year deal. This is yet another great honor for the MInnesota goaltender, who is doing all he can to reverse Minnesota's long-time position of weakness into a true strength.
Here is the rest of your Central Division All-Star lineup: