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Fleury Taken 18th, Letang 23rd in NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft

In an attempt to reinvigorate the NHL All-Star Game, the league held its first ever All-Star Fantasy Draft on Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Niklas LIdstrom of the Detroit Red Wings were named captains of their respective squads, and each selected one player per round, Staal drafting first and Lidstrom following suit.

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The first pick of the draft was the surprise pick, with Staal drafting goaltender Cam Ward, a fellow Carolina Hurricane.

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With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin sidelined, the only Penguins available for selection were breakout defenseman Kris Letang and revitalized goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during the All-Star Game.

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Fleury was taken in 9th round, 18th overall out of 36 players, by Team Lidstrom, their second goaltender taken after Tim Thomas. Letang was taken 23rd overall, in the 12th round, the fourth defenseman drafted by Team Staal.

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Faceoff for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game is set for 4:00 PM EST on Sunday, while the skills competition will take place tonight, at 7:00 PM EST. Both events will be televised on Versus.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.