Kane, others to play in three-on-three competition, not YoungStars game

Updated: January 23, 2008, 7:22 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Rookie scoring leader Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks topped a list of 16 newcomers invited Tuesday to NHL All-Star weekend, this time to compete in a three-on-three competition instead of the traditional YoungStars game.

Kane, the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, is first among rookies with 40 points in his first 45 NHL games. He, along with seven other Western Conference rookies, will take on eight from the East.

The three-on-three event will be held on Jan. 26 as part of the SuperSkills competition on the eve of the All-Star Game in Atlanta. The YoungStars will shoot against All-Star goalies.

Each rookie team will have four forwards and four defensemen.

Kane was the rookie of the month for October when he put up 16 points, the most by a rookie in 15 years.

Joining him up front for the West are Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers, Peter Mueller of the Phoenix Coyotes and the St. Louis Blues' David Perron. The defensemen are Alexander Edler of the Vancouver Canucks, Erik Johnson of the Blues, the Los Angeles Kings' Jack Johnson and Matt Niskanen of the Dallas Stars.

Headlining the East defensemen is Tobias Enstrom of the host Atlanta Thrashers.

Enstrom wasn't selected by Atlanta until the eighth round of the 2003 draft, but he has gone on to lead rookies this season in ice time (24 minutes, 4 seconds), tie for second in assists (23) and rank fourth in points (26). He was the NHL rookie of the month in November.

The other East defenseman are Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Lundin of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Marc Staal of the New York Rangers. The forwards are the Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom, the Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky, Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy and Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins.

All 16 players were chosen by the NHL's hockey operations department in consultation with the league's 30 general managers.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press