Your Call: Which player will go last in NHL All-Star Draft?

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TSN.ca Staff
1/26/2012 10:51:12 AM
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Phil Kessel could only smile and try to endure the uncomfortable feeling of sitting alone with 35 empty chairs surrounding him.

A year ago in Raleigh, the Toronto Maple Leafs forward was the first to be picked last - in the league's inaugural All-Star Fantasy player draft, Kessel was the 36th and final player chosen.

'We're happy. With our last pick in the draft, we'll take Phil Kessel," said Team Lidstrom assistant captain Patrick Kane at the podium.

Kessel, to his credit, never stopped smiling and took the moment in stride. He was rewarded moments later with a new car, and a donation was made to his favourite charity.

It's all fun and games, but you can bet that not one of this year's new crop of All-Stars wants to experience what Kessel did when the Fantasy Draft takes place in Ottawa tonight. (TSN, 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt).

But there's certainly no harm in guessing - who will be chosen last this season?

Team captains Zdeno Chara and Daniel Alfredsson aren't likely to mix business with pleasure during an exhibition event, but old habits die hard. It wouldn't be a stretch to see the Ottawa captain leave a member of the arch-rival Maple Leafs off his list (even Kessel, again?).

Along the same lines, there's no love lost between Stanley Cup finalists Boston and Vancouver, which could result in one of the Sedin brothers going last if Alfredsson is confident Chara will not pick any Canucks for his team.

Because the rules of the draft demand that all goalies be chosen in the first 10 rounds and defenceman in the first 15, we know that a forward will be the last one sitting.

Candidates, anyone?

Ottawa's Milan Michalek has the fewest points among all forwards at the game (32), but in his hometown of Ottawa and with Alfredsson drafting one of the teams, you can bet he won't drop too far down.

The youngest player in the game - Tyler Seguin - could also be a target in his first all-star appearance. But again, teammate Chara isn't likely to let it happen.

It's a big-name event, so name recognition and experience might be the deciding factor.

And that means that first-time All-Stars Jamie Benn, Logan Couture, James Neal or Jason Pominville might just end up in the hot seat.

Who do you think the last pick will be tonight? It's Your! Call.

Duthie and Kessel (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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