(Nashville, TN) — Nashville hosting the 2016 NHL® All-Star Weekend for the first time will correspond with a Nashville Predators record of player representation at the event. Defensemen Shea Weber and Roman Josi and goaltender Pekka Rinne have all been honored as 2016 All-Stars by the League, marking the first time in franchise history the Preds will have a trio of All-Stars initially selected to skate in an NHL All-Star Game.
With his fifth All-Star honor in a row, Captain Shea Weber will break his own Predators record by becoming the first player in franchise history to be included in the event five times (no other Preds skaters has been an All-Star more than three times). Preds netminder Pekka Rinne receives his second consecutive invitation to the All-Star Weekend and hopes to participate for the first time after missing last year’s event in Columbus due to injury. Finally, joining his Preds teammates for the first time at an All-Star Weekend will be d-man Roman Josi, the Predators leading scorer with 30 points (9g-21a) this season.
Once Nashville’s best-kept secret, Roman Josi, the Predators highest scoring defenseman last season and again currently this campaign, the blueliner has been named to the inaugural All-Star Weekend of his career. Last season, the 25-year-old Switzerland native finished in the Top Five in Norris Trophy voting while recording 50 points, six shy of the franchise record for points by a d-man. Nearly midway through the 2015-16 campaign, Josi is on pace for more than 60 points and has also blocked 105 shots, good for the third-highest total in the NHL.
Prior to this season, Josi was added to the Predators leadership group as an alternate captain. Currently in his second season as the blueliner’s head coach, Peter Laviolette gave a glowing review of Josi’s value to his club at the time.
“Just watching him play last year, what he brings to our team on the ice and off the ice, he’s a player that we count on in all situations,” Laviolette said of Josi. “His leadership inside the room and on the ice really shined last year as the person and player that he was, and he fits into the group that we already have in place. We’re happy to add him into that role.”