Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly was among the 40 players named the the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, the league announced Wednesday.
It's not hard to see why O'Reilly will be making his first career all-star appearance. In his first season after coming over from the Colorado Avalanche, the 24-year-old center leads the Sabres in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34), all while averaging nearly 22 minutes of ice time per night. So far, he's more than lived up to the billing as a No. 1 center—something the Sabres sorely lacked prior to his arrival.
Coach Bylsma on O'Reilly: He's been the heart & soul of our team. He plays that way, practices that way. He's what we want to be as a team.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) January 6, 2016
Joining O'Reilly on the Atlantic Division team are forwards Patrice Bergeron (BOS), team captain Jaromir Jagr (FLA), Leo Komarov (TOR), Dylan Larkin (DET) and Steven Stamkos (TBL); defensemen Aaron Ekblad (FLA), Erik Karlsson (OTT) and P.K. Subban (MTL); and goaltenders Ben Bishop (TBL) and Roberto Luongo (FLA). The team will be coached by the Panthers' Gerard Gallant.
At the game, O'Reilly and his Atlantic cohorts will open against the Metropolitan Division team in a 20-minute 3-on-3 game, with the winner advancing to face the Central or the John Scott-led Pacific Division in the final game. The winning team reaps a $1 million reward.
The full all-star rosters are posted on NHL.com.
The league also released what O'Reilly and company will be wearing in Nashville today:
The NHL All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, at 5 p.m. EST. The weekend also features the always-popular skills competition on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 7 p.m. EST.