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Dubnyk's remarkable run with Wild continues with another All-Star trip

Goaltender will become the first player in franchise history to play in three All-Star Games

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

ST. PAUL -- When Devan Dubnyk joined the Wild almost four years ago, few could have predicted the one-time League vagabond would become a three-time NHL All-Star.

Count Dubnyk himself as one of those doubters.

But when the NHL All-Star Game occurs later this month in San Jose, the Wild goaltender will play in his third event after he was named to the Central Division team on Wednesday by the NHL.

Video: Dubnyk on 2019 All-Star selection

"All-Star Games had never been on the radar, by any means, coming here," Dubnyk said. "It was pretty surreal getting named to the first one, but even still now, it feels a little surreal." 

"You always want to consider yourself one of the best in the League and you always strive to be one of the best goalies in the League, but to get recognized and get to go feels really good."

Dubnyk's journey is well known to most Wild fans.

The 14th overall selection of the Edmonton Oilers in 2004, Dubnyk broke in with Edmonton in 2009-10, playing the first 4 1/2 seasons of his career with the team that drafted him. 

It was that fifth season that proved to be a turning point. 

Dubnyk struggled in 32 games with Edmonton, posting a 11-17-2 record with a 3.36 goals-against average and an .894 save percentage. 

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A trade to Nashville did nothing to help his confidence; he gave up nine goals in two games with the Predators before another trade, this time to Montreal, where he was assigned to the Canadiens' AHL affiliate. He never suited up for the Canadiens, instead, going home to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's first son.

The following offseason, he signed a one-year "prove it" contract worth $800,000 with the Arizona Coyotes to serve as Mike Smith's backup. 

In the desert, Dubnyk regained some of his lost confidence, going 9-5-2 with a 2.72 goals against and a .916 save percentage in 16 starts before the trade that altered his career forever.

On Jan. 14, 2015, Dubnyk was dealt to Minnesota in exchange for a third-round draft pick. 

In four years since the deal, Dubnyk 147-84-23 with a 2.30 goals-against average, a .921 save percentage and 20 shutouts in 262 games. He leads the NHL in games played and shutouts, ranks second in wins and tied for second in both goals against and save percentage (minimum of 175 games). 

Dubnyk was awarded the NHL's 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team and finished third in Vezina Trophy voting and fourth in Hart Trophy voting.

Now, he'll make his third trip to the All-Star Game, becoming the first Wild player in franchise history to make three appearances in the game.

It's an honor he says never gets old.

"It really doesn't," he said. "I wasn't thinking too much about it, to be honest, and you're always a little surprised when you're considered. I've had a lot of fun in the past and I just feel proud to get a chance to do it again."


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