WINNIPEG -- San Jose Sharks
coach Todd McLellan
will have company in Ottawa later this month.
Sharks center Logan Couture
, a former standout with the Ontario Hockey League's Ottawa 67's,will join McLellan for the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL All-Star game in Ottawa on Jan. 29.
Couture's 18 goals lead all Sharks scorers this season, and he celebrated his ticket to Ottawa with a game-winning goal against the Winnipeg Jets
in a 2-0 win on Thursday night. Couture set a franchise record last season for goals by a rookie with 32. On a roster packed with veteran stars like Joe Thornton
and Patrick Marleau
, it is Couture who will be en route to Ottawa.
"I still find it hard to believe that he is as young as he is," McLellan said of his 22-year-old star. "Give him credit for establishing himself in the National Hockey League and maintaining it."
Couture's nomination to the event comes two days after McLellan cinched his trip to Ottawa by virtue of the Sharks having owned the Western Conference’s best points percentage as of Jan. 9.
"There's nobody in our room debating whether Logan Couture
is an All-Star, not one bit," McLellan said. "He deserves to go to that game, and he will represent our organization, and even more importantly, our city."