On Feb. 4, the NHL will host the 2023 All-Star Game in Sunrise, Florida, at the home of the Florida Panthers and at least one New York Islanders player will be there. The NHL will be announcing their pick from each franchise Thursday night during the Washington Capitals game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, broadcasted on ESPN at 7 PM.
Those 32 players will be accompanied by another 12, two goaltenders and 10 skaters, who fans will vote on. The winners of those votes will be announced on Jan. 19, per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
“The league will combine the traditional online vote with data it collects from Twitter. Every time a person tweets a player’s name or handle with the #NHLAllStarVote it will be counted, as will retweets, replies, or quote tweets,” Kaplan wrote.
The New York Islanders have a few players who are deserving of a trip to the beach, whether it be NHL-chosen or fan-voted, so let’s dive in.
Barzal Going For 3
New York Islanders star Mathew Barzal has appeared in two All-Star games over his NHL career, playing in the 2019 All-Star Game in San Jose and the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis.
And with 39 points in 39 games this season, Barza is likely to be chosen as the Islanders representative.
Although it was a slow start in the goal-scoring department, Barzal has 10 goals and 30 assists for 40 points in 39 games. He’s tied for seventh in the NHL in assists with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and has brought more offense this season under first-year head coach Lane Lambert.
what a shot. pic.twitter.com/b1YzpPeWu9
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 4, 2023
Barzal is currently riding a four-game goal streak with five goals and has six over his last six games.
Sorokin Best Netminder in the Metro
New York Islanders Ilya Sorokin has put forth a phenomenal first half in his third NHL season. Albeit a stretch of seven consecutive losses, with a few lackluster performances, he has been a critical reason why the Islanders find themselves in a playoff spot at this moment in time.
In 29 games this season, Sorokin owns a 2.29 GAA with a .926 SV% and three shutouts.
His GAA is fourth in the NHL, his SV% ranks third, while he’s tied for first in shutouts.
Statistically, he has been the best goaltender in the Metropolitan Division with better numbers than New Jersey Devils netminder Vitek Vanecek and New York Rangers netmidner Igor Shesterkin who would be the other two options to represent the Metro.
Unreal sequence from Sorokin pic.twitter.com/fsxL1u2Vu3
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) January 2, 2023
Sorokin has yet to be an All-Star, and if it doesn’t happen this season, it will happen at some point in his NHL career.
The NHL will have to choose between Barzal and Sorokin for the Islanders’ representative.
Nelson Deserves It, But Unlikely
For a second-straight season, Brock Nelson will likely lead the New York Islanders in goals. In 39 games this season, Nelson has 15 goals with his 23 assists second on New York behind Barzal.
Before Barzal’s hot streak, Nelson has been the Islanders’ X-factor this season, doing everything for New York. He’s been tremendous for New York on both sides of the puck and has shown that he can be a consistent NHL threat rather than just a streaky scorer like he was earlier in his career.
Brock Nelson with a sick wraparound goal pic.twitter.com/zp705g58ZB
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) December 10, 2022
Nelson plays on the power play and the penalty kill, and with Cal Clutterbuck out of the lineup, the 31-year-old forward has been donning an “A.”
Unfortunately for Nelson, he would need to be voted in as one of the 10 skaters, and given his production, he may be one of the most underrated players the NHL has to offer.
Despite the Islanders’ fan base being one of the most passionate in the NHL, they have a difficult time competing quantity-wise, making it tough to win any fan-voting activity.
Dobson Teetering, Not There Yet
New York Islanders 22-year-old defenseman Noah Dobson built off a strong junior season in the NHL and has been their leading point-getter on the backend again this season.
In 39 games, Dobson has 10 goals with 14 assists and is third on the Islanders in shots on goal with 110.
His 10 goals are second in the NHL amongst defensemen, trailing just San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson by two (12) for the league lead.
Despite the goal totals, he is lacking in the assist category among other NHL defensemen, ranking 18th in that category.
He did have a filthy assist to Josh Bailey the other day, and his decision-making in the offensive zone this season has been strong.
Big goal for Josh Bailey. Another assist for Noah Dobson. pic.twitter.com/TvLvtlh2K1
— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) December 14, 2022