The National Hockey League (NHL) has named center Ryan Kesler and defenseman Cam Fowler to the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend, taking place in Los Angeles from Jan. 28-29. Kesler will make his second career All-Star appearance following his All-Star debut in 2011 in Carolina. Fowler is set to become the fifth defenseman and the youngest blueliner in franchise history to appear in an All-Star Game. Kesler and Fowler are part of a Pacific Division roster that is composed of six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
Kesler, 32 (8/31/84), has collected 16-19=35 points with a +10 rating and 28 penalty minutes (PIM) in 42 games with the Ducks this season. Kesler leads the team in scoring, co-leads in goals, ranks third in assists, and second in plus/minus. He recorded his fourth career hat trick (3-0=3) on Jan. 1 vs. Philadelphia, his first three-goal game as a Duck and first overall since Apr. 7, 2011 with Vancouver vs. Minnesota (3-0=3). Tied for ninth in power-play goals (7) and tied for eighth in power-play points among league leaders (15), Kesler has 14-13=27 points in his last 30 games. The 6-2, 202-pound center also leads the league in faceoff wins (528) and ranks sixth in faceoff win percentage (57.7%, min. 500 FO).
"It's a tribute to the way my line has played this year," said Kesler. "We've all been on the same page and that usually leads to offense. I'm excited. I think I told my son first, so he's pumped. He'll be going."
Acquired from Vancouver with a third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft in exchange for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and first-round and third-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft on June 27, 2014, Kesler has earned 239-289=528 points with a +35 rating and 775 PIM in 857 career NHL games with Anaheim and Vancouver. Currently in his third season with the Ducks, he has collected 57-78=135 points with a +10 rating and 181 PIM in 202 career games with Anaheim.
"You try to take it all in," said Kesler. "It's a special weekend for friends and family. It's more about them being able to celebrate it with you instead of the actual game. It's going to be fun."
Fowler, 25 (12/5/91), has scored 9-13=22 points with 10 PIM in 42 games with the Ducks this season. Fowler leads all Ducks defensemen in scoring (22) while co-leading all league blueliners in game-winning goals (3). He also ranks third in goals (9), tied for third in power-play goals (5) and tied for eighth in power-play points (11) among all NHL defensemen. Fowler recorded his 200th NHL point on Dec. 19, 2016 in Toronto to match Matt Cullen for ninth on the franchise all-time scoring list. The 6-1, 210-pound defenseman also became the first blueliner from the 2010 Draft class to reach 200 career NHL points.
"It's a big honor and something every player strives for," said Fowler. "Players might not talk too much about it, but it's a goal for everyone to be recognized as an All-Star. And for it to be in LA, where it all started for me, you can see things come full circle. I'm really looking forward to it."
Selected by Anaheim in the first round (12th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Fowler has collected 43-157=200 points with 107 PIM in 456 career NHL games with the Ducks. Among all-time franchise defensemen, Fowler ranks second in scoring and assists, fourth in goals, tied for second in power-play goals (22), third in appearances, and tied for third in game-winning goals (10) and overtime goals (3).
"You look at the defense we have, specifically in the Pacific Division," said Fowler. "You knew [Brent] Burns and [Drew] Doughty were going to be there. I thought that was automatic. But then you have Oliver Ekman-Larsson and quite a few other guys, too."