Former University of Maine star Jimmy Howard was named to the NHL All-Star roster Thursday.
Howard, a goalie for the Detroit Red Wings, was one of 36 players added to the Jan. 29 game by the league’s hockey operations department.
It’s the first all-star selection for Howard. He leads the NHL in wins (24-10-1), has 2.05 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
“Definitely it would be very welcomed, an honor,” Howard told MLive.com Thursday, before the selections were released. “They (all-star games) all for fun. You go out there, get to meet guys from other teams, catch up with old friends that you know. Just basically have a good time and take it all in.
“I definitely enjoyed it when I was growing up, watching the skills competition and all that.”
The All-Star game is at Ottawa, which is near Howard’s hometown in upstate New York.
Howard is in his third full season with the Red Wings after starting his pro hockey career with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, Grand Rapids (Mich.) in 2005-06.
The top nine scorers have all been selected for the NHL showcase, including Tampa’s Steven Stamkos, Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin, Chicago’s Marian Hossa, Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin and Ottawa’s Jason Spezza along with Giroux, Kessel and Lupul.
Sedin will be joined by twin brother Henrik and defenseman Alexander Edler. The Canucks, Leafs, Bruins, Rangers and Blackhawks all have three representatives.
The host Senators lead the way with the four players voted in by fans — Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson.
Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien will also participate in the game at Scotiabank Place.
The event will be preceded again by a draft to determine the teams. The captains and assistants in charge of selections will be announced next week.
In addition to the main All-Stars, 12 rookies have also been invited to participate in the skills competition, including Colin Greening of the Senators, Cody Hodgson of the Canucks and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Oilers, who is recovering from a separated left shoulder.