IRVINE, Calif. – On Thursday evening, during the first intermission of the Bruins-Penguins game, Frank Vatrano was announced as the Anaheim Ducks’ representative for the 2024 NHL All-Star Game. It is his first career All-Star Game selection. Vatrano has 27 points in 37 games so far this season, with 18 of those points coming via the goal column. He scored his 18th goal of the season last night, his second shorthanded goal of the season.
“It’s awesome,” said Vatrano. “A dream come true to even play in this league. The way my career has gone—(being) undrafted, let alone playing in the NHL and being an All-Star… kind of at a loss for words. Never really expected this. To do it, it was all help from the guys in this room. If it wasn’t for the guys in this room pushing me every day and helping me out on the ice to succeed, I wouldn’t be in this position. It’s an individual award, but it’s a team award at the end of the day because of the guys that helped me.”
Vatrano signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Bruins in March 2015, forgoing his senior year of collegiate hockey and kickstarting his pro hockey career. With stops in Florida and New York since then before landing in Anaheim, Vatrano now has multiple 20-goal seasons under his belt and eclipsed 500 NHL games played earlier this season. He and his wife, Rebecca, also welcomed a baby girl, Ophelia, into the world at the end of last season.
“Family’s everything,” said Vatrano. “So to see my baby girl and my wife in here to congratulate me, it’s awesome. I had no idea, I was surprised. I think all the guys knew and didn’t tell me, so I’ll give them a little bit of s—t. It’s great. I hate surprises too, but that’s a good surprise.”
“It’s awesome. You look at guys around the league, those guys are All-Stars and winners. My biggest key in my career is winning and I want to win a Stanley Cup one day. So if you can be an All-Star, that’s great. But being an All-Star doesn’t matter if you’re not winning at the same time. It’s an honor to be an All-Star, but you also want to be able to win too.”
The All-Star Game this year will be held in Toronto and Vatrano joked that he might have to grab a few jackets while he’s up there. “I’m low on jackets. Got to get the baby a passport, figure all that stuff out,” he said with a grin. “Toronto’s a great city. It’s the hockey market of the world, so to play in the All-Star Game on a big stage like that, it’s really cool and I’m excited to be a part of that.”