NHL All-Star Team Award

NHL All Star Team Award

Similar to other major leagues, the NHL awards end of season awards that recognize the best players at each position. While in the NBA and NFL these honors have different names than the in-season exhibition game (Pro Bowl vs All-Pro, NBA All-Star vs. All-NBA), the NHL honors share the same name: NHL All-Stars. Read on to learn more about the NHL All-Star Award.

What Is the NHL All-Star Award?

At the end of each NHL regular season, the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) votes to decide the NHL First All-Star Team, NHL Second All-Star Team, and the NHL All-Rookie Team. The NHL First All-Star Team is composed of the best player at each of the six positions: center, left wing, right wing, defense (2), and goaltender. The NHL Second All-Star Team is composed of the second-best players at each of the six positions. The NHL All-Rookie Team is composed of the best first-year players at each position.

When Are the NHL All-Star Awards Announced?

The NHL First and Second All-Star Teams, along with the NHL All-Rookie Team, are announced at the NHL Awards, which take place during the NHL Playoffs. Only regular season accomplishments are taken into consideration for these awards, similar to other major sports leagues.

History of the All-Star Team Award

The first NHL All-Star Teams were named at the conclusion of the 1930-1931 season. Seven players were chosen for the First Team and seven other players were chosen for the Second Team, and that system remained through the 1941-1942 season. From the 1943-1944 season onwards, six players have been chosen for each honorary team by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Most All-Star Team Award Selections

NameTotalFirst TeamSecond Team
Gordie Howe21129
Ray Bourque19136
Wayne Gretzky1587
Maurice Richard 1486
Bobby Hull12102
Nicklas Lidstrom12102
Alexander Ovechkin1284
Doug Harvey11101
Glenn Hall1174
Jean Beliveau1064


What are the NHL First and Second Team All-Stars?

The NHL First and Second All-Star Teams are composed of the best two players at each position in the NHL regular season. The NHL First All-Star Team features the best player at each of the six positions. The NHL Second All-Star Team features the second-best player at each position. Being named to either team is an enormous achievement for any player.

Is it more prestigious to be voted to the All-Star Game or named to an All-Star Team?

It is considered more of an accomplishment to be named to the First or Second All-Star Teams than it is to be voted to the NHL All-Star Game. This is due to the relatively few number of players named to the two NHL All-Star Teams at the NHL Awards compared to the number of NHL All-Star Game selections. Since there are only 12 players on the NHL First and Second All-Star Teams combined and 44 players at the NHL All-Star Game, it is much rarer to be named an All-Star after the season.

What is the difference between the NHL All-Star Game and the NHL All-Star Award?

The NHL All-Star Game is an annual exhibition game featuring a season’s star players while the NHL All-Star Award is a recognition of a player’s great performance during one season. Since the 1947-1948 season, the NHL All-Star Game has been a charitable event that pitted the best players from each season against one another and the NHL All-Star Award has been a way of honoring NHL’s best players (by position) since the 1930-1931 season.