Aaron Ekblad added to All-Star Game; Johnny Gaudreau not added

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will play in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game. (USATSI)
Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad will play in the 2015 NHL All-Star Game. (USATSI)

Just one day after Filip Forsberg was named to the All-Star game as a replacement for Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin, another standout rookie will get an opportunity to play in Sunday's game.

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad was officially added to the roster on Friday afternoon to replace injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson. 

It was reported earlier in the day by multiple outlets that Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau, who is also in Columbus to take part in the skills competition, would also be added as an injury replacement for Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, but according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston the NHL has decided instead to not replace Crosby in the game will play one forward short, a decision that doesn't really make much sense since Gaudreau is already there, is an exciting young player and is having an excellent season for a surprising Calgary team.

Both Crosby and Johnson had to remove themselves from the weekend's festivities because of injury and will miss at least their team's first game back from the All-Star break.

Ekblad, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 draft, is having one of the best seasons ever for an 18-year-old defenseman in the NHL with six goals and 19 assists in 44 games. 

Gaudreau has 13 goals and 22 assists in 45 games for a surprising Flames team that is in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. 

This is an update of an earlier post that had mentioned Gaudreau being added to the game as a replacement for Crosby.

CBS Sports Writer

Adam Gretz has been writing about the NHL and taking an analytical approach to the game since the start of the 2008 season. A member of the PHWA since 2015, he has spent more than three years covering... Full Bio

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