Clayton Keller is building one awfully impressive All-Star resume. Still just 25 years of age, he is set to take part in what is already his fourth career All-Star Game. To put that in context, he ranks second only to Arizona native Auston Matthews when it comes to All-Star appearances from members of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
In all fairness, Keller has certainly had some help in getting selected to those four games. The current NHL format dictates that, barring injury, at least one representative be nominated from each club for All-Star inclusion, meaning that the Boston University product was selected, at times, as the best of some weak Arizona Coyotes teams.
Regardless of how Keller makes it to the All-Star Game, this year's inclusion is well-earned on the back of a 20-goal, 45-point showing through 48 games thus far. And now, the Missouri native gets the opportunity to build on his ever-growing track record at the mid-season exhibition. Let's take a look at how he's fared over the years:
2019 All-Star Game
Keller's All-Star debut came at the 2019 game in San Jose, still just 20 years of age and only a year removed from a rookie season that resulted in nomination as a Calder finalist. He was the third-youngest participant in the game, behind only Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars and Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks.
In that first game, Keller's age and inexperience showed. After finishing with the slowest time in the Fastest Skater competition, he failed to hit the scoresheet and finished with a minus-two as his Pacific Division team lost 10-4 to the Central Division (Arizona had yet to move to the Central at this point).
2022 All-Star Game
By the time of Keller's next appearance in the 2022 game, plenty had changed. The COVID pandemic had forced the cancellation of the 2021 event and the Coyotes had been realigned as part of the Central Division due to the incoming Seattle Kraken. He was also three years older and ready to make more of a mark.
While not a stellar showing, Keller held his own against the NHL's best and brightest. He finished a distant fourth in the accuracy shooting competition at the Skills Challenge and came out on the losing end of a 5-3 showdown against the Metropolitan Division. This time, however, he got the Central on the board with their opening goal for the first of his All-Star career.
2023 All-Star Game
If Keller had been nervous during his first All-Star experiences, that certainly didn't seem to be the case at the 2023 game in Florida. Now a bona fide ASG veteran, he continued his struggles in the Skills Competition (he lost the "NHL Pitch n' Puck" golf event to Nick Suzuki) but shone when it came to the actual game.
In a semifinal pitting Keller's Central Division against the Pacific, he recorded two goals to help his side to a 6-4 win and book their place in the final. Against the Atlantic Division, he demonstrated his sneaky side with a one-handed breakaway that he slid between the pads of Tampa Bay Lightning star Andrei Vasilevskiy. He and his Central mates, however, would fall short in a 7-5 loss.
If you're keeping track at home, that's four career All-Star goals for Keller, albeit without any trophies to his name. We all know that the Skills Competition and All-Star Game don't really matter, but you have to figure that he is headed to Toronto with some pride and the intent to finally win something.