SPORTS

Kessel, Lupul join Phaneuf as NHL all-stars

01/12/2012 01:27 EST | Updated 03/13/2012 05:12 EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs forwards Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul, two of the top scorers in the NHL this season, were added to the all-star roster as announced by the league on Thursday.

Kessel and Lupul join teammate Dion Phaneuf, who was voted as a starting defenceman last week.

The NHL’s all-star game is set for Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place on Jan. 29 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 4 p.m. ET).

Kessel received some ribbing for being selected last in the inaugural fantasy all-star draft in 2011, but no one is laughing at him this year. The Leafs’ winger is tied for second in scoring with Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux with 48 points, two behind Vancouver forward Henrik Sedin.

"Hopefully, he's not selected last two years in a row," Lupul said Thursday. "But he got a car for it, so I mean it's not all bad, right?"

Kessel’s linemate Lupul is also having a breakthrough season, piling up 47 points and leading the team with 28 assists.

The Sedin twins, who have helped the Canucks return to the top of the Western Conference standings, will make another trip to the all-star game. While Henrik Sedin sits atop the NHL with 50 points, Daniel is only three points behind and leads the team with 18 goals.

"I think it means a lot," Henrik Sedin said. "It's one of those things I think you're going to look back at when you're done playing (and feel proud) that you've been to one or a few of those. That's something you can tell your grandkids."

Vancouver defenceman Alexander Edler also made the team. The Canucks, Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Blackhawks all have three representatives.

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Winnipeg defenceman Dustin Byfuglien will represent their teams.

Once again, the event will preceded by a draft to determine the teams. The captains and assistants in charge of making those selections will be announced next week.

Giroux headlines a list of other all-stars, including teammate Kimmo Timonen, Chicago's Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane, Florida's Brian Campbell and Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn.

The 36 all-stars join the six that were named by the fans. Forwards Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek and defenceman Erik Karlsson were the Ottawa players who came out ahead in fan balloting.

Phaneuf and Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas rounded out the starting six.

Senators captain Alfredsson, in his 16th season with the franchise, will finally play an all-star game in his own rink. He has 14 goals and 19 assists in 38 games, and led all forwards with 897,055 votes.

As part of their return to the NHL, fans of the Jets will get to root for Byfuglien, who earned his second straight all-star appearance.

Byfuglien, 26, currently leads all Jets' defenceman with six goals and 18 assists in 35 games this season. Byfuglien also led the team for fan voting with 149,405 votes.

He was acquired by the then Atlanta Thrashers in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010 NHL off-season.

The NHL skills competition will be also be broadcasted on CBC Sports and streamed at CBCSports.ca on Jan. 28 (7 p.m. ET), with 12 rookies joining the 42 all-stars.

MORE:cbcSports