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January 10, 2017

Wayne Simmonds headed to NHL All-Star Game for first time in his career

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The NHL announced the rosters for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and the Flyers have one representative: Wayne Simmonds, who at 28 years old will be making his all-star debut.

“It’s kind of surreal,” Simmonds told reporters in Buffalo. “It makes me think when I was a young kid, watching the all-star games and watching all of the great players who played in it. To even be mentioned in the same breath as all stars in the NHL, it’s pretty special and it’s a great accomplishment.”

Just like when Jake Voracek returned to his first NHL home (Columbus) for his first and only all-star appearance back in 2015, Simmonds will go back to Los Angeles, the organization that drafted him and where he played three full seasons before getting traded to Philadelphia.

Simmonds was one of 40 players named to the four divisional rosters, which already had captains voted in by the fans (Sidney Crosby is captaining the Metro). There will be a skills competition on January 28th and then the actual all-star game involves the four divisions playing a 3-on-3 tournament.

“I played it quite a bit this year,” Simmonds said. “I don’t think I’m the greatest at 3-on-3, but I can adjust a little bit, right?”

Simmonds is third on the Flyers with 32 points and first in goals with 17.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann