Islanders Adam Pelech surprisingly heading to first career All-Star Game
The NHL (eventually) got around to revealing the roster for the All-Star game in Las Vegas this February. It was 50 minutes later than they said it would happen, but they eventually got to it. Only one New York Islanders player made the cut, and that was...Mathew...I mean...Adam Pelech.
That's right; Adam Pelech was named to the NHL's All-Star game. Now if it sounds like I'm complaining I want to assure you that I am not. Adam Pelech is a worthy recipient of this honor. I'm glad he'll be representing the Islanders in Vegas next month.
I'm just, well, I'm surprised is all.
New York Islanders Adam Pelech surprisingly named to All-Star
It's not every day that the NHL rewards a defense-first guy like Pelech with a trip to the All-Star Game. Especially on the first ballot. Sure, a fan vote could yield enough support to get Adam Pelech to the game, but to be purposely picked for the game? That's something new.
And remember, the All-Star game is a 3on3 competition. Open ice or an exciting offensive game isn't Adam Pelech's style. They're honestly rewarding a guy for just being a really good player.
Again, Pelech doesn't put up numbers. Over his 327 career NHL games over seven years, Pelech has 16 goals and 80 points to his name. He is not an offensive-minded player.
But he is an absolutely elite player on the defensive end of the game. Recently, The Athletic put out player cards for all the Islanders players (subscription required) and Adam Pelech's defensive stats weren't only "star" level, they were top 1% level. Pelech is as elite as they come for defensemen.
So well done and well deserved for Adam Pelech who will be the sole representative (as things stand now) for the Islanders. Mathew Barzal was not named but is on the "Last-Man-In" ballot. Meaning fans can still vote him in so he can defend his fastest skater title.