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Brandon Saad projected to be on 2016 Metropolitan Division All-Star team

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

The NHL announced a new format for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Wednesday night.

The game, on Sunday, Jan. 31, will be a 3-on-3 tournament pitting the four divisions against one another in a winner-take-all format. The Atlantic Division will face the Metropolitan Division in one semifinal and the Central Division will face the Pacific Division in the other semifinal. The winners play in the championship game.

Games will be 20 minutes in length and will be decided by a shootout if tied after the 20 minutes.

Each division's roster will have six forwards, three defenseman and two goalies. One player from each division will be voted onto the team by the fans and the other 40 players will be selected by the League's Hockey Operations Department. Each team will have at least one player from every team in their division.

Roster selections won't be announced until sometime in January, but enlisted four of its writers – Arpon Basu (Atlantic Division), Mike Morreale (Metropolitan Division), Dan Rosen (Central Division) and Kevin Woodley (Pacific Division) to take an early guess at what the four divisional rosters could look like.

Atlantic Division All-Stars

Jack Eichel, C, Buffalo Sabres

Jaromir Jagr, RW, Florida Panthers

David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins

Gustav Nyquist, RW, Detroit Red Wings

Max Pacioretty, LW, Montreal Canadiens

Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

Erik Karlsson, D, Ottawa Senators

Morgan Rielly, D, Toronto Maple Leafs

P.K. Subban, D, Montreal Canadiens

Roberto Luongo, G, Florida Panthers

Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens

Metropolitan Division All-Stars

Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals

Sidney Crosby, F, Pittsburgh Penguins

Claude Giroux, F, Philadelphia Flyers

John Tavares, F, New York Islanders

Mats Zuccarello, F, New York Rangers

Brandon Saad, F, Columbus Blue Jackets

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals

Justin Faulk, D, Carolina Hurricanes

Ryan McDonagh, D, New York Rangers

Henrik Lundqvist, G, New York Rangers

Cory Schneider, G, New Jersey Devils

Central Division All-Stars

Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane, RW, Chicago Blackhawks

Vladimir Tarasenko, LW, St. Louis Blues

Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars

Blake Wheeler, RW, Winnipeg Jets

Jamie Benn, LW, Dallas Stars

Ryan Suter, D, Minnesota Wild

John Klingberg, D, Dallas Stars

Tyson Barrie, D, Colorado Avalanche

Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators

Jake Allen, G, St. Louis Blues

Pacific Division All-Stars

Taylor Hall, LW, Edmonton Oilers

Johnny Gaudreau, LW, Calgary Flames

Tyler Toffoli, C, Los Angeles Kings

Max Domi, LW, Arizona Coyotes

Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks

Daniel Sedin, LW, Vancouver Canucks

Brent Burns, D, San Jose Sharks

Drew Doughty, D, Los Angeles Kings

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D, Arizona Coyotes

Frederik Andersen, G, Anaheim Ducks

Jonathan Quick, G, Los Angeles Kings

Here's how our writers arrived at the above rosters:

Metropolitan Division

Washington's Alex Ovechkin is one of the most dynamic scorers in the world. Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby is off to a slow start, but has the skills possessed by few others and remains the biggest of names. Philadelphia's Claude Giroux continues to be one of the most creative and deceptive setup men in the League. John Tavares of the New York Islanders is tied for the division lead in goals and second in game-winners; he has been a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in two of the past three seasons.

Forwards Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mats Zuccarello of the Rangers also earn their way onto this team. Zuccarello ranks second in the division in points per 60 minutes and in primary assists. Saad has the most power-play goals in the division.

McDonagh always seems to find a way to come up big in key moments and has been a key cog in the Rangers' early-season dominance. John Carlson of the Capitals and Justin Faulk of the Carolina Hurricanes rank Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in points among defensemen in the division.

Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers has the lowest goals-against average and highest save percentage in the division. It's time Cory Schneider got his due in his second full season as a full-time starter with the New Jersey Devils. Schneider has played the most minutes of any goalie in the division and is among the League leaders in every statistical category despite playing on a rebuilding team this season. – Mike Morreale

View the complete All-Star roster projections by clicking HERE.
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