Cam Fowler’s excellent adventure continued Friday when the Anaheim Ducks’ precocious rookie defenseman was assigned to Team Lidstrom for Saturday’s Super Skills event at the RBC Center. The skills contests are part of the NHL’s All-Star weekend, which will conclude Sunday with the 58th All-Star game.
Fowler will be on the same team as Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller but will play against Ducks winger Corey Perry.
Fowler, right wing Evgeny Dadonov of Florida, defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson of Phoenix, left wing Taylor Hall of Edmonton, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk of Colorado and center Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers will represent Team Staal.
The rookies assigned to Team Staal were San Jose center Logan Couture, Buffalo left wing Tyler Ennis, New York Islanders right wing Michael Grabner, Carolina defenseman Jamie McBain, Boston center Tyler Seguin and Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban.
For Fowler, who was 18 when the season began and turned 19 in December, the day extended the whirlwind that began when the Ducks chose him 12th overall in the June entry draft. He has five goals and 26 points in 46 games and is averaging 22 minutes 23 seconds of ice time per game.
He is determined to enjoy every second of this experience.
“It’s awesome. For us rookies it’s cool for us to see how the guys — superstars in the league — how they interact with each other and what they’re like off the ice,” said Fowler, who managed to squeeze a quick trip home to Farmington, Mich., before traveling here.
“They don’t treat us like we’re any different. They’re welcoming, and they introduce themselves so it’s been pretty cool so far.”
Fowler said Perry, who’s making his second All-Star appearance, has offered some advice he plans to heed.
“His biggest thing is it’s a fun weekend, just soak it in and enjoy it as much as you can,” Fowler said. “It’s a privilege to be here, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Hiller, a first-time All-Star himself, praised Fowler’s steadiness.
“At the age of 18 you play a couple of good games, sure. But he’s playing solid pretty much every game he plays,” Hiller said. “That’s the toughest part, a young guy coming in being consistent. And he’s going out there, and he definitely looks more like a veteran than an 18-year-old.
“He definitely has a great future. He’s a great guy in the dressing room too. I definitely think he’s helping our team a lot. … When he has a bad game he plays even better the next one.”
Kopitar is lone Kings’ All-Star representative
Center Anze Kopitar, the Kings’ leading scorer, is their only player here this weekend. He doesn’t take the responsibility lightly.
“I always take it serious. Just to represent the Kings, it’s an honor,” said Kopitar, who will play for Team Lidstrom.
“Being the only one here it’s a special thing, and hopefully I’ll make them proud back there.”