Team Staal's task of getting all the hometown players on the same All-Star team this weekend got harder Wednesday as the NHL announced that Carolina rookie Jeff Skinner
now is going to play in the big show Sunday at the RBC Center.
The League also announced Wednesday that Colorado center Paul Stastny
has been added to the lineup for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover to fill out the replacements for the injured selections. Rookie defensemen P.K. Subban
of Montreal and Jamie McBain
of Carolina will join the party Saturday night at the Honda SuperSkills competition.
Skinner and Stastny replace Sidney Crosby
and Evgeni Malkin
while Subban and McBain will replace Skinner and the injured Jordan Eberle
in the rookie lineup.
Skinner originally was selected as one of the 12 rookies who will compete in the SuperSkills competition with the regular All-Stars, but with spots opening up due to injuries the NHL gave the city and its fans one more reason to cheer Sunday by adding Skinner to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover.
It's not a marketing pick, either -- Skinner earned his way into the big game.
Despite being the youngest player currently in the League, he has put up 18 goals and 40 points this season. He's second behind Eric Staal
on the Hurricanes in both categories, and his 40 points is the most among all NHL rookies. The only rookie with more goals than Skinner is San Jose's Logan Couture
, with 22.
When Skinner takes the ice Sunday, he'll be just 18 years, 259 days old, making him the youngest person ever to play for the All-Stars in an All-Star Game. Hall of Famer Steve Yzerman
had been the youngest, at 18 years, 267 days in 1984.
He won't be the youngest ever to play in an All-Star Game, however. Two players younger than Skinner played for the Stanley Cup winners when the game format was the previous season's champion against the League's All-Stars.
Skinner is on pace for 30 goals and 66 points. Last season's top rookie scorer, Colorado's Matt Duchene
, had 24 goals and 55 points.
Duchene is a first-time All-Star this season.
Skinner has one more goal and the same amount of points as All-Star center Jonathan Toews
. He has more points than All-Star forwards David Backes
(37), Patrick Kane
(37), Patrik Elias
(36) and Phil Kessel
(34). He has more goals than nine of his fellow All-Star forwards, including the injured Malkin.
Subban had his breakout moment in the NHL when he joined the Canadiens during their surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring and now he'll have another chance in the spotlight this weekend.
One of the top young offensive-minded defensemen in the League, the 21-year-old Subban has 5 goals and 19 points for the Canadiens in 45 games this season. He is fourth on the team in ice time, logging 21:14 per contest.
Subban played in two regular-season games for the Canadiens in 2009-10, but became a breakout star in the postseason after joining the team for Game 6 of the first-round series against Washington. He finished the postseason with a goal and 8 points in 14 games while helping to replace some of the offense and minutes lost when Andrei Markov
went out with a knee injury.
The Montreal defenseman is one of two expected rookie replacements. Edmonton's Jordan Eberle
is unable to participate because of injury and Carolina's Jeff Skinner
has earned a promotion to the regular All-Star roster as an injury replacement.