Jonathan Marchessault isn’t thinking much about his chances of making the NHL All-Star Game.
The Golden Knights forward is one of eight players eligible to be voted to the Pacific Division team by fans, but he’s not counting on joining goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury at the Jan. 26 festivities in San Jose, California.
“It’s nice that they recognize your name a little bit, but there’s so many good players in the NHL. Obviously, I don’t expect to go,” Marchessault said Thursday. “Our All-Star for us is definitely (Fleury) for the last two years. It’s good. I’m happy for him. Whatever happens, happens.”
Marchessault called his nomination “a great honor,” but he’s competing with forwards Ryan Getzlaf (Anaheim Ducks), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers), Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings), Logan Couture (San Jose Sharks) and Brock Boeser (Vancouver Canucks), and defensemen Oliver Ekman-Larsson (Arizona Coyotes) and Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames) for votes. Fans can vote up to 10 times per 24 hours for one player in each division for the “Last Men In” competition until 8:59 p.m. Jan. 10.
Marchessault has 30 points after finishing second on the Knights with 75 last season.
“(Marchessault) has had a great year and a half with us,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “He’s played real well, so hopefully he’ll get voted in by our fans. Our fans are very passionate, so he should have a good opportunity.”
Knights waiver claim Valentin Zykov practiced with the team for the first time Thursday after having his arrival delayed because of an issue with customs.
The forward skated on a fifth line with Tomas Nosek and Oscar Lindberg.
“He looked good,” Gallant said. “He’s getting used to it, meeting some of our guys, and he skated out there well. He’s got good hands, everything that (the front office) talked about when they picked him up.”
Marchessault and Fleury got into a playful on-ice scrap after practice, and Marchessault continued talking trash in the locker room, calling the team’s goalies — Fleury and Malcolm Subban — “soft.”
— Ben Gotz (@BenSGotz) January 3, 2019
“They think as goalies they cannot be touched,” Marchessault said. “Some days you got to bring them back downward, and that’s what I just did.”
Brandon Pirri, Daniel Carr and Erik Brannstrom of the Chicago Wolves were picked for the American Hockey League All-Star Classic on Jan. 27 and 28 in Springfield, Massachusetts, the league announced.
The Wolves were one of two teams to have three players named.
— Chicago Wolves (@Chicago_Wolves) January 3, 2019
Pirri (41 points) and Carr (40) are the AHL’s top scorers despite both spending time with Vegas this season. Pirri remains with the Knights and has six goals in seven NHL games.
Brannstrom, the team’s top defensive prospect, has 20 points in 24 games for the Wolves.
Odds and ends
■ Max Pacioretty practiced with the third line and second power-play unit but remains on injured reserve with a lower-body injury. Gallant didn’t say whether Pacioretty would play Friday at Anaheim.
■ Defenseman Brad Hunt was back after missing practice Wednesday to attend his grandfather’s funeral in Vancouver, British Columbia.
■ Defenseman Colin Miller, who is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, didn’t practice.
■ The Knights traded defenseman Jimmy Oligny, 25, to the Winnipeg Jets for future considerations. Oligny played 16 games for the Wolves this season.