Kings’ Cam Talbot, Ducks’ Frank Vatrano among initial NHL All-Star picks – Orange County Register

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Southern California will be represented at NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto by the Kings’ Cam Talbot and the Ducks’ Frank Vatrano, both of whom were named to the initial pool of 32 stars for the events that will take place Feb. 1-3.

Those festivities will include a fantasy draft of sorts to form the rosters for the Feb. 3 three-on-three All-Star tournament. Twelve more players will be selected via fan voting on the NHL’s website, meaning more Kings and Ducks could become participants in the month to come.

Talbot is a two-time selection, having represented the Minnesota Wild in 2021-22. He has enjoyed perhaps his best season since 2016-17 with the Edmonton Oilers, when he won a staggering 42 games. His .925 save percentage would represent his best mark as a starter if he were to maintain or improve upon it for the rest of the season.

He has been a road warrior, leading the NHL in away victories, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts. Entering the season, his bonus-laden, low-base-salary contract gave the Kings an experienced goalie, but few knew exactly what to expect from the 36-year-old who had to surmount injuries and mixed form last season in Ottawa.

Talbot has answered any questions affirmatively and resoundingly.

Vatrano has produced a couple of different sets of data in support of his case as well.

Vatrano was surprised with the news by his wife Rebecca and infant daughter Ophelia, but no one who had watched the Ducks could have been taken aback by his selection. Vatrano leads the Ducks in points, shots on goal, goals, power-play goals, short-handed goals and game-winning goals. He’s also one of just six NHL players to record multiple hat tricks this season. Equally unsurprising is that Vatrano is on pace to blow past his previous career highs in goals (24) and points (41).



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