Rangers defenseman Marc Staal
and forward Brandon Dubinsky
will appear on national television tonight as they take part in the All-Star Festivities in Atlanta as members of the Eastern Conference Roster for the annual YoungStars event.
Staal is one of four defensemen and Dubinsky one of four forwards on the Eastern Conference team, making the Rangers and Pittsburgh the only teams with multiple players on the roster.
A total of 16 players will compete in the event. Comprising the best of the League's stellar rookie class in 2007-08, the eight-player Eastern and Western Conference YoungStar teams will face off in a new three-on-three event as part of the Dodge/NHL SuperSkills competition on Jan. 26 at Philips Arena (7 p.m., ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS).
Rangers center Scott Gomez, who will play in Sunday's NHL All-Star Game, will also be competing in tonight's SuperSkills event. This marks Gomez's second trip to the All-Star Weekend and his first since his rookie year in 1999-00.
The YoungStars will be shooting against goaltenders named to participate in the NHL All-Star Game the following day.
Joining Staal on the Eastern Conference defense are Tobias Enstrom of the host Atlanta Thrashers, Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Mike Lundin of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Joining Dubinsky at forward are the Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, the Penguins' Tyler Kennedy and the Boston Bruins' Milan Lucic.
Rookie scoring leader Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks headlines the Western Conference team. Joining Kane among Western Conference forwards are Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers, Peter Mueller of the Phoenix Coyotes and David Perron of the St. Louis Blues. The defensemen are the Vancouver Canucks' Alexander Edler, the Blues' Erik Johnson, the Los Angeles Kings' Jack Johnson and the Dallas Stars' Matt Niskanen.
YoungStars players were selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department, in consultation with League General Managers.