Columbus Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson was added to the roster Thursday for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports). He will replace injured Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin for the Metropolitan Division.
Atkinson, 27, was tied for second in the NHL with 24 goals and tied for seventh with 46 points. He has five game-winning goals for the Blue Jackets (32-12-4), who are second in the division, four points behind the Washington Capitals.
He joins Columbus teammates, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenseman Seth Jones, on the Metropolitan Division team. (View All-Star Game rosters)
Video: Cam Atkinson Named ASG Replacement
"I mean, I either knew I was getting traded or I was getting the [all-star] nod," Atkinson said Thursday about being told. "No, but it was special. I was actually pretty tired. I was about to go to bed and [Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen] called me around [11 p.m. Wednesday] and just congratulated me. It was cool.
"It's obviously very special, very humbling. Just to be playing with the best players in the world, it's going to be fun. I'm going to take it all in and really enjoy the moment."
Malkin did not play in a 4-3 loss at the Boston Bruins on Thursday and won't play in the All-Star Game because of a lower-body injury sustained against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. Malkin, with 54 points, is third in the NHL, one behind teammate Sidney Crosby and five behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.
READ: Cam Atkinson playing above his height
The 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend will begin with the opening of the 2017 NHL Fan Fair, including the NHL® Centennial Fan Arena, on Thursday; continue with the celebration of the 100 Greatest NHL Players at THE NHL100™ presented by GEICO on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports) and the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).