The NHL released it’s list of All-Stars for the 2o14-15 season today and the Islanders will be represented in Columbus by captain John Tavares. Tavares is a very deserving selection, leading the Isles in both goals and points this season with 19 and 39, respectively.
The first overall pick in the 2009 draft has become one of the best players in the NHL and a leader on the ice for an Islanders team that has been one of the NHL’s best for the entirety of the 2014-15 season.
The fact that the Islanders have played well consistently this season does raise the question of why Tavares was the team’s only representative.
There are a few of Tavares’ teammates that easily could have been selected to join their captain at the All-Star game, most notably goaltender Jaroslav Halak. Halak is having a sensational season posting a 22-8-0 record this season, with a 2.29 goals against average, a .914 save percentage and three shutouts. The Slovakian netminder has shown himself to be one of the league’s best this year in his first season on Long Island.
The Islanders had other potential All-Stars that fell short of selection today. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has been a huge factor in the Islanders improved play this season, bringing a veteran presence to an Isles defense corps that was in need of a top d-man to set the tone. His 19 points are tops among Isles defenseman and he leads the team in average time on ice at 21:57 per game.
Tavares’ linemate Kyle Okposo could have been asked to participate in Columbus as well. Okposo is having another stellar season for the Isles, sitting second in points on the Isles with 36, behind only Tavares. His 28 assists lead the team in that category.
Every team needs a representative at the All-Star game, so including every deserving player is not a possibility. The Isles have their best player representing them, and Isles fans should be excited to watch him play alongside the league’s best.