2022 NHL All-Star Preview
The All-Star game did not happen a season ago due to COVID. While COVID has certainly threatened the league again this year, all signs point toward the game returning on February 5. The T-Mobile Arena, home of the Las Vegas Golden Knights, will have hosting duties, setting the stage for a betting palooza that weekend in Sin City! Let's offer up a 2022 NHL All-Star game preview first, before digging into the bets.
All in all, 44 players were selected to the All-Star game — 11 in each division. Interestingly enough, twenty of those players are first-time selections, which proves the NHL is ushering in a new era of star power. And what a better game to shine for a newbie than the All-Star event, eh?
While we could list every single player chosen, let's focus on the team captain per division, as selected by a fan vote. Here are the 2022 captains:
- Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan Division)
- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews (Atlantic Division)
- Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (Central Division)
- Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (Pacific Division)
A few more notes to pass along: with his eighth All-Star selection, Ovechkin has the most appearances of any player chosen in 2022. Among teams, the Avalanche (Nazem Kadri, MacKinnon, Cale Makar) and the Lightning (Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy) are tied for most players selected with three apiece.
Per usual, the annual All-Star Game will feature a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, pitting divisions against one another in a single-elimination tournament format. Each of the four divisional teams will include nine skaters and two goalies.
Atlantic vs. Metropolitan Betting Pick
As you can see above, the top online sportsbooks have yet to release betting odds for the All-Star game. We expect that to change very soon, especially as the February 5 date approaches sooner. Nonetheless, we'll still speculate about which division between the Atlantic and Metropolitan is the better betting pick once odds are available.
We're of the belief that Atlantic is the team to beat here. The Atlantic has the best roster of any of the four divisions. Across its 11 selections, they've earned a whopping 30 All-Star appearances. That sum is spread out too because the Metropolitan actually has 31 total All-Star selections, but that's swayed heavily by Ovechkin and Claude Giroux, who have 15 combined.
Since the NHL switched to this four-division format in 2016, the Atlantic has a 3-2 record against the Metropolitan. We sense that win total becomes four this year, hence why we're backing Atlantic with a bet here. They have a roster that can "run the table" in this tourney.
Pacific vs. Central Betting Pick
When evaluating the Pacific vs. Central betting pick, one thing jumps out the page to us: the Central division is green. Real green, in fact. Of the 11 Central players in the All-Star team, eight are first-time selections. The only experienced All Stars include Clayton Keller (Arizona), Joe Pavelski (Dallas), and the aforementioned MacKinnon.
But here's the thing: we think the Central's inexperience is actually a good thing. You see, once you've been in a few All-Star games, the charm goes away — and that applies to most pro athletes, not just NHL ones. A "been there, done that" attitude is easy to adopt in that scenario. But when your playing in your first-ever All-Star game? The eyes get bright and the players are more motivated to "show off" that they belong on this grand stage.
We 100 percent see that playing out in this Western Conference matchup. Central players will take this game more seriously, which should catapult them to victory.
How To Bet On NHL All-Star Game?
Alright, you should be caught up on all things 2022 NHL All-Star game if you've read this far. All that's left remaining is to actually place a wager or two (when odds are up). To bet on the NHL All-Star game, visit one of the bookmakers listed underneath. These sites will also have special bets for the skills competitions — fastest skater, save streak, hardest shot, and so on.
While you're clicking around these bookies, be sure to look into their respective sign-up bonus for free play. These deals could score you hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play upon account sign-up — money that you can use to bet on the All-Star game or other NHL matchups. The table below us has full details on what deals are on the table!