Since 2016, the NHL All-Star Game has been played at three-on-three. Each division has 11 players (nine skaters and two goaltenders), and they play in a two-round knockout-style tournament to determine the winner. There was no All-Star Game last season due to COVID-19, but based on the five previous iterations of this tournament, the games in the first round tend to be high scoring. Teams have combined to average approximately 12 goals in the first round, while the final game has seen an average score totaling about eight goals. Intuitively, it makes sense, as there is prize money on the line, after all.
Rosters were selected by a fan vote, and, as is the case every year, a few players will miss because of injury. Nathan MacKinnon was replaced by Roman Josi; Brady Tkachuk will fill in for teammate Drake Batherson; and Evgeny Kuznetsov took Adam Fox’s place. Fox is a big loss for the Metropolitan Division, while MacKinnon is a huge loss for the Central, which probably has the weakest team on paper. Batherson is a good player, but Tkachuk is a good replacement. At first blush, it’s tough to pick out the strongest roster.