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Hagelin, Diaz in for Devils' duo Henrique, Larsson

by Mike G. Morreale
The NHL announced Wednesday that New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz will be joining their fellow rookies in Ottawa for All-Star Weekend.

Hagelin will replace New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique and Diaz will be filling in for Devils defenseman Adam Larsson. Both Devils players are dealing with injuries.

According to The (Bergen) Record, Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello said Henrique "tweaked his groin" in Tuesday's loss to the Sabres and Larsson has a sore wrist. Both will be staying in New Jersey to get treatment.

The rookies will be assigned to a team during the 2012 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Thursday, and take part in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday.

Carl Hagelin
Left Wing - NYR
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 8 | PTS: 16
SOG: 63 | +/-: 13
Hagelin, taken in the sixth round (No. 168) of the 2007 Entry Draft, has eight goals, 16 points and a plus-13 rating in 29 games this season. He's spent most of the season on a line with center Derek Stepan and right wing Marian Gaborik.

Hagelin will be joining Gaborik, goalie Henrik Lundqvist,defenseman Dan Girardi and coach John Tortorella for NHL All-Star Weekend.

Diaz, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Canadiens last May, has three goals, 14 points and 81 blocked shots for the Habs this season. He's recently been partnered with Tomas Kaberle.

On Sunday, Diaz finished third in the hardest-shot portion of the skills competition during the METRO Fan Practice at Bell Centre. The purpose of the event was to allow fans to get a chance to see their favorite players up close and personal. His best shot of 83.88 mph was short of the event winner, P.K. Subban, with a blast of 93.82 mph.

Diaz will join teammate Carey Price for the All-Star festivities.

Henrique has yet to score a point in three games since returning from a groin strain that sidelined him for two games for the Devils. In a 2-1 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, he was dropped to the third line after spending much of the season between Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk.

"It wasn't my best couple of games," Henrique told reporters following the game. "But I feel good. I obviously want to have a big second half when we get back moving forward."

Raphael Diaz
Defense - MTL
GOALS: 3 | ASST: 11 | PTS: 14
SOG: 47 | +/-: -3
Henrique is tied for second among NHL rookies with 13 goals, and his 34 points are just one behind rookie leader Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Larsson, the fourth pick of the 2011 Entry Draft, leads all rookie defensemen with 13 assists and 15 points. He averages 21:46 of ice time per game, tops among New Jersey's blueliners.

Hagelin and Diaz become the fifth and sixth players named to the All-Star roster as replacements, and the second and third rookies.

Earlier Wednesday, Pittsburgh forward James Neal was named a replacement for Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who opted out of the game. Earlier in the week, Edmonton forward Jordan Eberle, Philadelphia forward Scott Hartnell and Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang were added as injury replacements for Minnesota forward Mikko Koivu, Chicago forward Jonathan Toews and Winnipeg defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

Also, Minnesota forward Nick Johnson was added to the rookie group in place of the injured Nugent-Hopkins.
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