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Which Arizona Coyote is most deserving of an NHL All-Star Game selection?

Craig Morgan Avatar
January 3, 2024
Clayton Keller is a three-time NHL All-Star Game selection.

The NHL is expected to announce the first 32 selections for the 2023-24 All-Star Game on Thursday during ESPN’s broadcast of the Bruins-Penguins game, per multiple sources. With that announcement looming, the PHNX Coyotes crew put its heads together and came up with a list of four All-Star Game candidates from the Coyotes. 

The fact that there is a list is noteworthy. There have been seasons where it was difficult to find a single Coyotes player worthy of selection, let alone multiple candidates.

If you want to read about the current NHL All-Star Game format, which includes multiple changes, you can follow this hyperlink to NHL.com. We’ll also discuss the All-Star Game selection process on the PHNX Coyotes show on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

Here are our four Coyotes All-Star Game candidates.

Clayton Keller is a three-time participant in the NHL All-Star Game.
Forward Clayton Keller is the Coyotes’ most likely All-Star selection. (Getty Images)

Clayton Keller

The stats: Keller leads the team in points with 31. He is second among forwards in average ice time (19:20), tied for second on the team in assists (18), third on the team in goals (13) and he leads the team in power-play points (16) and game-winning goals (4).

The pros: He’s a three-time All-Star (2019, 2022, 2023) while the other three candidates on this list have never been selected and carry less name recognition. Couple that with the fact that he is the team’s points leader and it’s both an easy and highly likely decision for the league.

The cons: Keller is not on pace to reach the 86-point bar he set last season, but it’s notable that he only had 34 points on this date last season, before heating up over the season’s final two months. It also might be nice to give Keller a break from being the face of the franchise and let another Coyote get some recognition for a special all-around season, which brings us to…

Forward Matias Maccelli has been a play-making revelation for the Coyotes. (Getty Images)

Matias Maccelli

The stats: Maccelli leads the team in assists (21), he’s second in points (27) and he leads the team in even-strength points with 21. He is tied for 15th in the NHL in primary assists with 16; a category in which he also leads the Coyotes.

The pros: Ask some people internally and Maccelli gets the vote as the team’s most complete player this season. His vision and passing have become the stuff of local legend and he’s also a plus-2 despite facing some of the toughest matchups in the league. An All-Star nod would be a nice make-up call for his Calder Trophy finalist snub last season.

The cons: Maccelli still isn’t much of a goal scorer which makes him less sexy on the national stage. He is in a five-way tie for fifth on the team with six goals despite his 72 shots (third on the team). He’s also averaging 16:47 of ice time, just seventh among Arizona forwards.

Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse is on pace for 37 goals this season. (Getty Images)

Lawson Crouse

The stats: Crouse leads the team in goals, he is second on the team in even-strength points (18) and he is tied for third on the team in overall points with 24.

The pros: Crouse has emerged as an elite goal scorer in the NHL. After reaching the 20-goal barrier in each of the past two seasons, he is currently tied with such players as Jack Eichel, Brady Tkachuk, JT Miller and Steven Stamkos in goals this season. He’s a big forward who skates well and plays a responsible 200-foot game.

The cons: Crouse’s 20.3 shooting percentage suggests that a regression is at hand, but shooting percentages have been on the rise in the NHL and six players who played at least 70 games last season eclipsed the 20-percent mark. The thing that will keep Crouse out of the All-Star Game is his point total of 24, which is tied for 95th in the NHL.

Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram is among the league leaders in save percentage, high-danger save percentage and goals saved above expected. (Getty Images)

Connor Ingram

The stats: Among goalies who have played at least half their team’s games, Ingram is fourth in the NHL in save percentage (.919), he is fifth in goals save above expected (11.3) and third in high-danger save percentage (.844).

The pros: Ingram would be a refreshing All-Star Game choice. He has burst onto the scene this season after a strong second half of the 2022-23 season. He has been open about his battles with mental health and he has garnered a lot of recent national media attention. He’s also a great personality; full of humor, humility and insights.

The cons: He plays in the same division as Connor Hellebuyck, Jusse Saros and Jake Oettinger. The latter two don’t have his stats but may get the nod due to name recognition. The truth is, Ingram deserves one of the two slots. The last time the Coyotes had two players in an NHL All-Star Game was 2007 with defenseman Ed Jovanovski and center Yanic Perreault. Jovanovski was an injury replacement for Scott Niedermayer.

Vote in our poll:

Top photo of Clayton Keller at the 2022 NHL All-Star Game via Getty Images

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