Max Pacioretty added to NHL All-Star Game roster

Finally, Pacioretty is heading to the game.

Vegas Golden Knights forward Max Pacioretty is heading to the NHL All-Star Game for the first time in his career, the league announced Friday.

Pacioretty will replace Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg, who has been excused from the game as his wife prepares to give birth.

Along with Pacioretty, San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl will replace teammate Logan Couture on the Pacific Division roster. Pacioretty will join Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant in St. Louis for the festivities running from Jan. 24-25.

Pacioretty was part of the NHL’s Last Man In vote, which concluded Friday. His addition to the roster is not in correlation with that vote.

“I’ve never been to an All-Star Game,” Pacioretty said last week. “I felt maybe some time in my career I probably should’ve been there, but if it happens or not, either way I can’t control what happens.”

The 31-year-old Pacioretty, who spent the first 10 years of his NHL career with the Montreal Canadiens, had been bypassed as an All-Star throughout his career. Pacioretty had a string of four consecutive 30-goal seasons from 2014-17, including a career-high 39 in 2014. He’s reached 67 points twice, but he’s on pace to eclipse that this season.

Pacioretty leads the Golden Knights in goals (20) and points (45). He also hasn’t missed a game this season; he missed 16 games last season and 18 in 2018. Pacioretty scored 22 goals in his first season with Vegas, but showed the superstar-like ability in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in seven games against the Sharks.

Much of that has been due to teaming with linemate Mark Stone, but Pacioretty’s 25 assists are nine off from a career-high, as well.

Pacioretty replaces goalie Marc-Andre Fleury as the Golden Knights’ representative. Fleury, who was named to the All-Star Game for a fifth time, has chosen to sit out the game in order to rest for the second half of the season.