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My All-Star Ballot: Western Conference Forwards

by Photo of Andrew Wallach

Which Western Conference Forwards are most deserving of a spot in the 2015 NHL All Star Game?

My All-Star Ballot: Western Conference Forwards

With the 2015 NHL All-Star Game a month away and the league taking a hiatus until Saturday for Christmas break, I think it's a good time to look at this year's prospective all-stars. There will be 21 players selected from each conference: 12 forwards, six defensemen, and three goalies. I will do a six-part series, analyzing each group from both conferences. Remember, this is not a definitive list of who will make the all-star team, just my ballot for all it's worth.

Note: Statistics are through the games played Tuesday, December 23rd.

Here are my Western Conference Forwards:

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

Seguin broke out last year with an 84 point campaign. So far this year he is on pace to set a new career high as he leads the NHL in goals with 25 and is second in points. He is playing like one of the top forwards on the planet, and if he were playing for a better Dallas team he would be running away with the Hart Trophy for league MVP.

Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks captain is having another year worthy of Hart Trophy consideration. He is fifth in the league in scoring with 39 points through their first 36 games and on pace for a second consecutive 85 points season. He has led the Ducks to the best record in the Western Conference despite the absence of scoring wingman Corey Perry for a chunk of the year due to injury.

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Tarasenko had a very good sophomore campaign in 2013-14, finishing with 21 goals and 43 points. He'll most likely surpass that total shortly after New Years. Third in the league with 20 goals in 34 games, two more snipes and he starts working on a new career high. He has a wicked shot and is must-see action when the puck is on his stick.

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

One of my favorite players to watch on the ice, Kane is possibly the best stick-handler in the game today. It's a bit surprising that such an electric playmaker has never scored more than 30 goals in a season. That should change this year as he is currently on pace to rip 37 for one of, if not the best teams in the league right now in Chicago. 

Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators

One of the early favorites for the Calder Trophy as top rookie, Forsberg has been key to Nashville's impressive turnaround. Clearly flourishing in coach Peter Laviolette's offensive system, averaging almost a point per game. He's playing well in his own end as well, as he leads the entire NHL in plus/minus at +24. That trade that GM David Poile pulled off to get him looks like highway robbery at this point.

Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

On pace to approach last season's 79 point total, the Stars' captain has been the Robin to Seguin's Batman in Dallas. He remains consistent with almost a point per game, and has been a key part of a top 10 Dallas offense. 

Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks

He leads the team in goals and is second in points to Joe Thornton. His nine power-play goals lead the entire NHL and he has helped San Jose recover from last year's playoff disaster to sit in second place in the Pacific.

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

The 'Hawks captain has produced offensively with 29 points in their first 35 games. Toews continues to be one of the best defensive forwards in the game, contributing on both ends to help establish Chicago atop the Central Division standings. 

Jiri Hudler, Calgary Flames

Hudler has been an impressive veteran presence on a young Flames team. He has 33 points through 36 games and has this young bunch in the hunt for a playoff spot. His shooting percentage has been especially strong, scoring his 13 goals on just 65 shots.

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks

Couture has had a strong start with 29 points through the teams first 35 games. At that pace he would set a career high in points for a Sharks team that is hoping to avenge last season's playoff disaster.

Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild

Parise leads the Wild with 13 goals and 27 points in 32 games so far this season. He provides leadership and production for a team that has been hit by injuries and at times has trouble scoring.

Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

Perry has missed time this season due to a knee injury as well as the mumps. That doesn't change the fact that when he is on the ice, he's one of the best scorers in the game. Despite only playing 23 games this season, Perry still has 14 goals and 22 points for the first place Ducks.

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