TORONTO -- Leon Draisaitl may never get another opportunity to play alongside David Pastrnak, so he and Edmonton Oilers teammate Connor McDavid took the Boston Bruins forward early in the Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Player Draft at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

Pastrnak was the second player chosen by Team McDavid after Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck.

“With ‘Pasta,’ we kind of grew up together, got drafted in the same year and been through the whole thing together,” Draisaitl said. “So, I’m excited to spend some time with him, I got to know him from spending some time in Prague.”

Draisaitl, a 28-year-old forward from Cologne, Germany, was selected by the Oilers with the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Pastrnak, 27, from Havirov, Czech Republic, was selected by the Bruins at No. 25.

Along with Hellebuyck and Pastrnak, Draisaitl, McDavid and the team's celebrity captain, actor Will Arnett, selected Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas, Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart, Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Boone Jenner and Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki.

San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl drew Team McDavid as one of the last four players available.

“I love the team,” Draisaitl said. “We have a little bit of grit, a lot of hard work, lots of skill. It’ll be good.”

Draisaitl said there was some preparation heading into the draft. Team McDavid had the fourth and fifth picks in the snake draft.

“It was good, it was different,” Draisaitl said. “It was our first time doing this, it was a lot of fun. It was nice getting to know Will a little bit; he seems to know his hockey pretty well. We talked about it a little bit, we wanted to pick a goalie early, that was key, so we’re very happy.”

Draisaitl, McDavid and Pastrnak have combined for 196 points this season. Draisaitl entered All-Star Weekend with 57 points (23 goals, 34 assists) in 45 games. McDavid has 67 points (20 goals, 47 assists) in 43 games and Pastrnak has 72 points (33 goals, 39 assists) in 49 games.

“I’m excited to see how it’s going to be,” Pastrnak said. “They are both unbelievable players, two of the best in the world. I’m excited, and hopefully we can score some goals on Saturday and get the win.”

Draisaitl, McDavid and Pastrnak are likely to end up on the ice together in the 3-on-3 format for the 2024 Honda (U.S.)/Rogers (Canada) NHL All-Star Game at Scotiabank Arena on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS). The celebrity captains are expected to be on the bench for the games.

“The last thing you want to do when you’re putting a hockey team together is ask the actor for his advice,” Arnett said. “I’m just trying to help those guys make the best ‘Blades of Glory.’ By the way, of all the skaters in ‘Blades of Glory,’ the main actors, I was the best.”

Team McDavid will face Team MacKinnon, and Team Hughes will play Team Matthews. The two winning teams will play each other in the final.

“It’s exciting,” McDavid said. “I’ve come to the All-Star Game, this is my seventh time, and never gotten a chance to play with a guy like Pastrnak. That’s exciting to me. It’s always fun to get to play with new guys when you’re coming to an event like this where it’s the best against the best. It’s fun.”


Connor McDavid, EDM
Leon Draisaitl, EDM
Connor Hellebuyck, WPG
David Pastrnak, BOS
Rasmus Dahlin, BUF
Robert Thomas, STL
Sam Reinhart, FLA
Sergei Bobrovsky, FLA
Boone Jenner, CBJ
Nick Suzuki, MTL
Tomas Hertl, SJS

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