NY Islanders Mathew Barzal drafted onto a team full of Toronto Maple Leafs

Jan 11, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the
Jan 11, 2024; Elmont, New York, USA; New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) skates with the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

What were the chances that Mathew Barzal would one day be drafted onto a team with four Toronto Maple Leafs, and John Tavares wouldn't be one of them?

Barzal's former captain won't be representing his current team at Saturday night's All-Star Game in Toronto, but he will be surrounded by a quartet of Leafs following Thursday night's NHL All-Star Player Draft. The Islanders star forward, playing in his third game, was selected seventh by "Team Matthews," joining captain Auston Matthews, Morgan Reilly, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner.

The fix was likely in as Matthews, the league's leading goal scorer, and his assistant Reilly took Nylander with their first pick and then Marner with their second. The four Leafs were joined by their celebrity rep, Justin Bieber, on stage.

It must've been a thrill for "the Biebs" to meet another accomplished musician in Barzy.

If four rivals weren't enough, one of Barzal's backstops will be New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin. Jake Oettinger of the Dallas Stars was the first goalie off the board for Team Matthews. The rest of the high-powered team is made up of Clayton Keller, Filip Forsberg, and Alex DeBrincat, along with another Ranger, Vincent Trocheck, who was the team's last pick.

Barzal will also be one of 12 players taking part in the revamped skills competition tomorrow night, where each will take part in four of six events. From there, the field gets cut down to eight and six, with a million-dollar prize handed out to the winner. Barzal was the 2020 fastest skating champion at his first All-Star weekend in St. Louis four years ago.

Barzal will certainly be cheered as part of the hometown team on Saturday afternoon but will quickly become the opposition as the Islanders restart their season on Monday night in Toronto.