Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber was the eighth overall pick in the NHL’s first-ever All-Star fantasy draft on Friday.
Weber was picked by captain Nicklas Lidstrom and was the third choice among the 10 available defensemen.
The draft, conducted in so-called “playground style,” was introduced to the All-Star weekend this year in an effort to increase fan interest.
The resultant rosters will compete in the Honda SuperSkills competition, 7 p.m. Saturday, and in the All-Star Game, 3 p.m. Sunday.
Each roster consists of 21 players. Six of the 42 participants were selected by fan voting, and the other 36, including Weber, were chosen by league officials.
The players selected Detroit’s Lidstrom and Carolina’s Eric Staal (the event is being held in Raleigh, N.C.) as captains. Two players were added to each side as alternate captains, which left 36 for the draft.
Staal earned the right to pick first by virtue of a puck flip and picked goalie Cam Ward, his teammate with the Hurricanes.
Weber was guaranteed not to go last because draft rules mandated that all defensemen (six per side) had to be taken by the 30th overall choice. Goalies (three per team) had to be picked within the first 20 spots.
His teammates this weekend include Tampa Bay’s Steve Stamkos, the NHL’s leading scorer, and Chicago's Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.
In previous years, the teams were based on the conferences (Eastern vs. Western) and geography (North America vs. the world).
Weber played for the Western Conference all-stars in 2009. His selection to this year’s event made him the second player in Predators’ history (Kimmo Timonen was the first) to appear in more than one NHL All-Star Game.