The NHL announced the first six players selected for the All-Star Game as voted by fans on Tuesday. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith of the Chicago Blackhawks were the fan favourites for the game scheduled for January 30th in Raleigh.

The six players named above will be joined by 36 more all-stars when they’re announced on January 11th. In addition to the unveiling of the remaining All-Stars on January 11th, 12 NHL rookies will be chosen to participate in the Honda NHL SuperSkills festivities as well.

The format for the All-Star Player Fantasy Draft was also unveiled, here’s the official word from NHL.com:

Once the selection of the 42 All-Star players is complete, the players themselves will decide which two All-Stars will become team captains as well as four alternate captains, two for each team. Approximately two weeks from today, the captains will be revealed, at which time team names will be designated as the last name of each respective captain.

A coin toss will decide first pick with the team captains, joined by their two alternate captains, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of 3 goalies, 6 defensemen and 12 forwards total. For sake of fairness in the draft, the captain and alternate captains for each team will consist of two forwards and one defenseman. Also, to ensure that the final draft picks are true selections and not simply predetermined due to position requirements, each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team’s six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15.

It’s unlikely there will be any additional Pittsburgh Penguins added to the rosters, but Chicago’s Patrick Sharp is a likely candidate to join his teammates Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith for the weekend’s events.

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