OTTAWA — Three first overall NHL draft picks. The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik. And don't forget Pavel Datsyuk, the consistent Detroit Red Wings forward.
Datsyuk is so admired by his colleagues that many regard him as one of the game's best all-around players.
Add it up and there just might be enough bona fide talent attending the NHL's All-Star festivities in Ottawa to overcome the absence of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, and capture the imaginations of the young, old and even most casual fans searching for a distraction on a light sports weekend.
"All I know is that we're missing some really good hockey players, but there's a lot of good hockey players in this league," Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien said Friday.
"Even when there's a few missing, there's always a bunch of them that can step in and do just as well. As far as who's going to emerge as a star player ... I'm not very good when it comes to guessing, so I'm certainly not going to throw out a name."
Three of the past five No. 1 draft picks are playing — Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, Chicago's Patrick Kane and New York Islanders' John Tavares.
Led by Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, the NHL's top nine and 14 of the top 15 points leaders are here.
Grizz fall to Idaho
BOISE — The Idaho Steelheads scored two third-period goals to defeat the Utah Grizzlies 3-2 Friday night in Boise.
Blair Yaworski's fifth goal of the year 10:04 into the first period made it 1-0 Utah on the power-play as he fired the puck into a wide open net after intercepting a clearing attempt from behind the net by Idaho goalie Jerry Kuhn.
Utah made it 2-1 with 4:32 left in the second period. Mitch Wahl blasted a slapshot from the slot on the power-play for his sixth goal in seven games with Utah. Paul McIlveen and Jordan Foreman picked up assists.
Jacob Cepis scored on breakaways at 2:46 of the third and with just 3:48 left in the game.