Lightning, Golden Knights popular in fan vote for All-Division teams

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Fans were asked to select three forwards, two defenseman and one goalie from teams in each of the four realigned divisions for this season: The Scotia North Division, the Honda West Division, the Discover Central Division and the MassMutual East Division.

Forward Brayden Point, defenseman Victor Hedman and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy were voted onto the Central Division team from the Lightning. Forward Mark Stone, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo and goalie Robin Lehner were voted onto the West Division team from the Golden Knights.

Voting concluded Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

Here are the four teams with NHL.com analysis:

 

North Division

Forward: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Forward: Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs;

Forward: Leon Draisaitl, Oilers

Defenseman: Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

Defenseman: Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens

Goalie: Carey Price, Canadiens

Analysis: McDavid and Draisaitl already have chemistry from playing together; imagine adding Matthews to the mix. Since the start of the 2016-17 season, McDavid is first in the NHL with 421 points (146 goals, 275 assists) and Draisaitl is third with 362 (147 goals, 215 assists). Matthews in second in goals over that span with 158, behind Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (181). The defense would also have a lot of skill with Hughes, who tied for fourth last season among players at the position with 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) as a rookie, and Weber, who possesses a booming shot and tied for fourth among defensemen with 15 goals. Price proved he can still be an elite goalie in the postseason, when he was 5-5 with a 1.78 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts and helped Montreal upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Video: Fans’ choice for best in NHL North Division

 

West Division

Forward: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

Forward: Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Forward: Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights

Defenseman: Cale Makar, Avalanche

Defenseman: Alex Pietrangelo, Golden Knights

Goalie: Robin Lehner, Golden Knights

Analysis: A line of MacKinnon, O’Reilly and Stone would be a challenge to play against on both sides of the puck. O’Reilly won the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward in 2019, and Stone and MacKinnon are also well-rounded players. MacKinnon’s 289 points (115 goals, 174 assists) over the past three seasons are third-most in the NHL. Pietrangelo, who signed a seven-year contract with Vegas on Oct. 12 after 12 seasons with St. Louis, and Makar, who won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie last season after scoring 50 points (12 goals, 38 assists), could each be in the discussion for the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman this season. Lehner’s .925 save percentage over the past two seasons is fourth best in the NHL among goalies who played at least 50 games.

Video: Fans’ choice for best in NHL West Division

 

Central Division

Forward: Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Forward: Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

Forward: Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes

Defenseman: Victor Hedman, Lightning

Defenseman: Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Goalie: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning

Analysis: Good luck scoring against a defense pair of Hedman, a finalist for the Norris Trophy the past four seasons and won the award in 2018, and Josi, who won it last season. They’re backed by Vasilevskiy, a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the League’s best goalie the past three seasons and the winner in 2019. Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup winner and a nine-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game, is the elder statesman among the Central forwards with 13 seasons on his resume. Point, who is beginning his fifth NHL season, reached another level in the playoffs last season when he finished one behind teammate Nikita Kucherov for the NHL lead with 33 points (14 goals, 19 assist). Aho, also entering his fifth season, remains one of the more underrated players in the NHL despite leading Carolina in points each of the past three seasons.

Video: Fans’ choice for best in NHL Central Division

 

East Division

Forward: Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Forward: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Forward: David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Defenseman: John Carlson, Capitals

Defenseman: Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins

Goalie: Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers

Analysis: Watching Ovechkin and Crosby skate as linemates after 15 seasons as rivals would be fun. Since they debuted in 2005-06, Ovechkin is first in the NHL with 1,278 points (706 goals, 572 assists) in 1,152 games and Crosby is second with 1,263 points (462 goals, 801 assists) in 984 games. When Crosby and Ovechkin aren’t setting each other up, they can feed Pastrnak, who tied Ovechkin for the NHL lead with 48 goals last season. A defense pair of Carlson, a first-time Norris finalist last season, and McAvoy, who has developed into a top defenseman over his first three NHL seasons, would also be entertaining. The selection of Hart, who was 40-26-4 with a 2.59 GAA, .915 save percentage and one shutout over his first two NHL seasons, demonstrates the lofty expectations for the 22-year-old.

Video: Fans’ choice for best in NHL East Division

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