All Star Thursday: Player Draft, PWHL, start times, and more

All Star Thursday is a big day in the NHL this year as there is a lot going on.
PWHL - Boston v Ottawa
PWHL - Boston v Ottawa / Troy Parla/GettyImages

The NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto is here! It will kick off on Thursday night with some entertaining activities. The league will show off some of the top players in the league along with some of the best players from the PWHL. 

The All-Star Player Draft will take place at 5 PM CT/6 PM ET. Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche, and the Hughes brothers (Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils) are going to select teams. 

Each team already has an alternate captain and a celebrity matched up with them. Leon Draisaitl and Will Arnett are with Team McDavid, Morgan Rielly, and Justin Bieber are with Team Matthews, Cale Makar and Tate McRae are with Team MacKinnon, and Elias Petterson and Michael Buble are with Team Hughes. 

This will be a great way for the players to show a little of their personality as they pick teams as if they are playing real-life fantasy hockey. 

The pool of players that they can choose from is already set. One player from each team was selected and then some added players were voted in by the fans. A few injury replacements have already been named as well. 

All Star Thursday is going to be a very fun celebration of hockey

It has been a few years since the NHL has done the draft ahead of the All-Star Game. Filip Forsberg is the only current All-Star who has participated in one already in his career. It is exciting to see them bring it back so that a new generation of players can participate in one.

After the draft, they are going to announce the NHL Alumni Keith Magnuson Award. It is going to be a tribute to the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs who are the last Leafs team to win the Stanley Cup.

Following that, there will be a PWHL 3 on 3 Showcase. The six PWHL teams will be represented as they play a 3 on 3 All-Star Game. Some of the best female hockey players in the world will be showing their skills.

The NHL did a good job trying to make some changes to add more intrigue to the weekend. There is a whole extra day this year to grab the attention of hockey fans from around the world.

It is good to see the NHL including the PWHL. These women are elite hockey players and this league is off to a great start. Hopefully, it will continue to grow and produce more young players/fans.

This is the time of year to celebrate the great game of hockey. Starting it off with this great All-Star Thursday will be very fun. You can watch it on Sportsnet or ESPN.