By Mark Carlisle
Clayton Keller made participated in his first All-Star Game, liklely, of many this weekend, but didn’t make much of an impact in his first appearance.
The Coyotes’ second-year forward, the team’s only representative in the All-Star Game Saturday in San Jose, had three shots on goal but did not record a point in his nearly six minutes of ice time during the Pacific Division’s 20-minute game against the Central Division. Keller gave the puck away once and had a plus-minus of -2.
The Central beat the Pacific 10-4, but went on to lose 10-5 to the Metropolitan Division in the final of the four-team tournament.
Keller didn’t impress in Friday’s skills competition, coming in last among eight skaters in the Fastest Skater challenge, with a lap time of 14.526 seconds. Keller was more than a second slower than Edmonton’s Conor McDavid, 13.378, who won the challenge for the third straight year.
Keller was also beaten by U.S. Women’s National Team skater Kendall Coyne, who became the first woman ever to compete in an NHL skills competition Friday night. Coyne was second-to-last with a lap time of 14.346.
In 2017-18, Keller set the Coyotes rookie records for goals, assists and points with 23 goals and 42 assists, totaling 65 points. He finished third for the Calder Trophy, or rookie of the year award, and was the first rookie to lead the Coyotes in scoring and one of 10 Coyotes to record more than 60 points. This season, at age 20, he’s on pace to come close to the 60-point mark again.
The Coyotes drafted Keller 7th overall out of Boston College in 2016.