What the Canucks’ Past and Present All-Star Representatives Says About the Team

By: Brayden Fengler / January 27, 2024  

Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the Canucks most deserving year in terms of representation at the All-Star game. Gone are the days of Vancouver being a bottom-feeder team sending their lone highlight player. Now they are in a position where the majority of their top talent will be present in Toronto.

This is a very new situation for the Canucks. Quinn Hughes was automatically selected by the league to be an All-Star in Toronto. Then Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, J.T. Miller and Thatcher Demko were all voted in by Fans.

So as we sit on the cusp of something unprecedented in terms of Vancouver’s dominance at the All-Star game and during the regular season, let’s look back at Vancouver’s recent All-Star representation over the last few years. Where has the team been when late January and early February rolled around, and what did their previous All-Star representation say about the team?

Familiar Canucks as All-Stars

Looking back at the last six years and five All-Star competitions (with 2021’s event being cancelled due to COVID). Except for J.T. Miller, all Canucks selected for this year’s competition have previously been to the All-Star event over that time frame.

However, most of their journeys have been solo, or at the largest, a group of three. The Canucks have not had the good fortune to have five players truly at All-Star level all at the same time. But now that the Canucks are at the top of the NHL, this change is well deserved and a stark contrast from years past.

The Good and the Bad: 2018-2019 All-Stars

The last time Brock Boeser was an All-Star was during the 2018 All-Star weekend. It was Boeser’s rookie campaign and he was the team’s only representative where he competed in the accuracy shooting competition and won with a time of 11.136 seconds.

During the All-Star games, Boeser shined further, winning the honour of Most Valuable Player after he scored two goals and earned an assist. Although the Vancouver Canucks were 20th in the league by the time of the All-Star Break, Boeser was 7th in the league in goals, notching 24 through 46 games played. Boeser’s star was shining that year as it is again this year.

In 2019 Elias Pettersson was selected as the Canucks only representative. This season Pettersson was a point-per-game player, scoring 45 points over 40 games by the time of the break. The Canucks, however, as history reminds us, were still close to the bottom of the league in the standings.

Pettersson finished middle of the pack in fastest skater and dead last in puck control, with a time of 43.622, nearly 10 seconds worse than the second-to-last place finisher Jeff Skinner, who had a time of 35.407.

Although Petey would get more cracks at the All-Star competitions over the years to come, the 2019 All-Star weekend was not a particularly exciting watch for Canucks fans, in part due to Petey’s middling showcase.

Three’s a Crowd – 2020 All-Stars

In 2020, during the All-Star event that took place just barely before the world shut down, the Canucks had to book a few more plane tickets, as Elias Pettersson made his return, along with Quinn Hughes and then goaltender Jacob Markström.

Quinn Hughes was selected as a part of the “Last Man In” fan vote which took place after the majority of the All-Star selection was already decided.

The Canucks were sitting at 12th in the league by the time of this All-Star break, a drastic improvement over their 18th and 20th placements during the same checkpoint two years before. Fans will remember that this was the year of the NHL playoff bubble and the play-in where the Canucks earned their spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and made it as far as game 7 of the second round.

Funny enough the Pacific team that Vancouver’s representatives played for was coached by Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes at the time. Tocchet will once again be coaching the Pacific team this year, now as the Canucks head coach.

No individual Canuck shined with any skills competition victories in 2020, but the Pacific Division, which was made up of 27% Canucks, ended up winning the 3 on 3 tournament with a 5-4 win over the Atlantic team.

Back to Singles: 2022-2023 All-Stars

In what now becomes more recent memory, many Canucks fans will recall that the team regressed after the magic of the bubble year, and a lot, I mean a lot, of changes have happened since that pre-pandemic All-Star appearance.

As mentioned, there was of course no All-Star event in 2021, so the next time the Canucks got their chance to send a representative was in 2022, and it would be Thatcher Demko. Demko, who was only in his first full year out of Utica, was now the Canucks sole representative.

A great milestone moment for the Canucks’ new starter, but a somewhat depressing site that no Canucks players earned a place in the contest that year. The Canucks were 23rd in the league by the time of the All-Star weekend, their worst placement yet when considering the other years covered on this list.

As far as Demko was concerned though, it was no wonder why he was an All-Star as by that point in the season Demko had started for 27 games, and of all NHL goalies who had started at least 25 games on the year, Demko ranked 5th in the league in save percentage.

Most recently, Elias Pettersson was once again selected as the Canucks one and only All-Star for last year’s All-Star weekend. Things were much different for the Canucks, by the time of this All-Star break last year. Vancouver was 27th in the league, and as I write this now the Canucks are in first place, and could very easily still be in first by the time the final game is played before the break.

During this All-Star outing, Pettersson walked away with a prize of his own, as he won the hardest shot competition with a shot travelling 103.2 mph.

Also worth noting, is that technically the Canucks were supposed to have two All-Stars in attendance last year, as Bo Horvat was selected as an All-Star as a Canuck, but was traded to the New York Islanders before the actual All-Star Weekend.

Canucks, all the Way Down: 2024 All-Stars

The last half-decade of Canucks All-Star appearances have seen highs and lows both with attendance and contribution from Canucks players.

This year, with five Canucks in attendance, not only will there be significant representation for the best team in the NHL, but as logic would have it, all five Canucks – who are on the best team in the NHL – will be in attendance because they are also some of the best players in the NHL. The stars are finally aligning in Vancouver, and this stacked All-Star roster is only further proof.

  • Elias Pettersson
  • Brock Boeser
  • JT Miller
  • Quinn Hughes
  • Thatcher Demko