He's an All-Star.
Darcy Kuemper received recognition for his outstanding first half of the season on Monday afternoon as he was selected to represent the Coyotes on the Pacific Division roster for the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, which takes place in St. Louis at the Enterprise Center on January 25.
His numbers are among the best in the NHL; Kuemper's 2.17 GAA and .929 SV% rank second second in the league.
"It's super exciting and obviously a huge honor to get a chance to go and represent the team and play with some of the top players in the league," he said following the announcement. "I'm quite excited for it."
As are his family.
"I think they're already looking into booking some time off work to try and get down for the weekend."
"A lot of teammates have reached out to me to say congratulations, I've been hearing from a lot of people, which is nice."
The 29-year-old netminder becomes the 25th All-Star selection in Coyotes history and the 46th All-Star in franchise history.
Kuemper is only the fourth Coyotes goaltender to get the All-Star treatment, joining the likes of Nikolai Khabibulin, Sean Burke, and Mike Smith.
Khabibulin (pictured above during the 1998 Skills Competition) and Burke each represented the Coyotes twice; Khabibulin in 1998 and 1999, Burke in 2001 and 2002, and Smith once in 2017.
"Those are all obviously great goalies that had great careers, and Smitty's still playing, so to be in the same conversation as those guys when it comes to something like that is a huge honor," he said. "I'm super excited for this chance."
This will be Kuemper's first All-Star bid, an event he hopes he can take in with friends and loved ones.
"It's all going to be new to me, it's a new experience," he said in regard to what he expects to get out of the weekend. "I'm excited for the opportunity and hopefully my family can make it down and I can get a chance to play in front of them."
His play has been highly touted on a national level, and he now gets to showcase that play in the spotlight with those who receive similar accolades.
"It's definitely a boost of confidence to be named amongst the best players in the league, to get a chance to go to the All-Star game with those guys," he said. "That confidence will really help push me through the second half of the season."
He's credited much of his success to the disciplined framework that led the Coyotes to hold a share or sole possession of first place for 22 days during the month of December.
"I've gotten some great play in front of me, the guys have been committed all year, we play with a lot of structure which really helps me out there and makes my job easier," he said. "We're committed to winning right now and I'm just excited to keep building off of that in the second half."
And of course, goaltending coach Corey Schwab, who he works with day-in and day-out.
"He's really helped me find the structure of my game that allows me to go out there and be as consistent as possible," Kuemper said of Schwab. "He's very clear with his message and he's good with finding that balance of mental and physical activity, adjusting to the goalie that he's working with and adjusting to the heat of the schedule."
Darcy Kuemper , All-Star goalie.
"At the end of the day, I've been very fortunate to play with great teammates and that's made my job a lot easier."
And he's done the same for them.
Lead Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari - NHLI via Getty Images // Second Photo [Khabibulin] Credit: Robert Laberge - Allsport // Third Photo Credit: Marc Sanchez - Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit - Jamie Sabau - NHLI via Getty Images