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Four Blackhawks to play in NHL All-Star Game

Forward Patrick Kane happy to play with Chicago teammates for Central Division @NHLdotcom

The Chicago Blackhawks will be the most represented team at the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 29 (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports). Four Blackhawks -- forwards Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, defenseman Duncan Keith and goaltender Corey Crawford -- were chosen Tuesday to play for the Central Division.

"It's pretty special," Kane said. "I think even more so in the fact that you're going to be going with a few of your teammates, as well. I think it's a lot more enjoyable and a lot more fun when you have your teammates there."

"Every time you get named to something like this, it's always the same special feeling," Keith said. "To be selected among these few guys is an honor and I'm excited."

Video: Revealing the 2017 Central Division All-Stars

The top two players selected in the 2016 NHL Draft, forwards Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets, were chosen to play; Matthews for the Atlantic Division All-Stars and Laine for the Central Division. Laine is sidelined with a concussion.

Among the first-time NHL All-Stars joining Matthews and Laine will be Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith, forward Bo Horvat of the Vancouver Canucks, forward Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and forward Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

Video: Revealing the 2017 Pacific Division All-Stars

"I think you think the worst when your GM [John Chayka] calls you on your bye week," said Smith, 34. "But obviously after listening to the message, [I was] overall kind of surprised and shocked after it all set it. I'm really excited and honored to represent the Coyotes."

"It's pretty surreal," said Horvat, 21. "I was talking about it with family and friends. It didn't really hit me until, I guess, I talked to people about it, how special it is to go to an All-Star Game. Especially at a young age, it's pretty humbling and it's a pretty awesome experience. I can't wait."

"It makes me think of when I was a young kid watching the All-Star Games and watching all the great players who played in it," Simmonds said. "To be even mentioned in the same breath of All-Stars in the NHL, that's pretty special and it's a great accomplishment."

Video: Revealing the 2017 Metropolitan Division All-Stars

Three players from the San Jose Sharks, forward Joe Pavelski, defenseman Brent Burns and goaltender Martin Jones, will play for the Pacific Division in the 3-on-3 tournament.

The Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings each will have two players on the Pacific Division team; forward Ryan Kesler and defenseman Cam Fowler for the Ducks and forward Jeff Carter and defenseman Drew Doughty for the Kings.

"Players might not talk that much about it," Fowler said, "but I think it's a goal for everyone. To be recognized as an All-Star is pretty special. In L.A., right up the road, where things all started for me, getting drafted there. You can kind of see things come full circle."

Video: Revealing the 2017 Atlantic Division All-Stars

Two players each from the Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning will play on the Atlantic Division team; forward Brad Marchand and goaltender Tuukka Rask for the Bruins; defenseman Shea Weber and Carey Price for the Canadiens; and forward Nikita Kucherov and defenseman Victor Hedman for the Lightning.

Price was among four fan-elected All-Star captains announced Jan. 3, along with forward Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (Metropolitan Division), P.K. Subban of the Nashville Predators (Central) and McDavid.

"It's a huge honor," Marchand said. "It's something that I never really expected to see during my career, especially coming in. It's something I'll be very proud of and it should be a lot of fun. It's great to have somebody on your team [Rask] go with you. It makes it a little more comfortable there."

The Metropolitan Division All-Stars feature two players each from the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. The Blue Jackets, who have the best record in the NHL (28-7-4), will be represented by defenseman Seth Jones and goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky; the Penguins by Crosby and forward Evgeni Malkin; and the Capitals by forward Alex Ovechkin and goaltender Braden Holtby.

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