Weber, Suter taken with back-to-back picks, broken up for All-Star Game

Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 7:53pm

Ryan Suter and Shea Weber will not get to play together as All-Stars.

The two pieces of the Nashville Predators’ top defense pair were taken with consecutive picks Thursday in the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft, which meant they went to different sides for Sunday’s NHL All-Star game.

Weber was the second choice of the eighth round (16th overall) by Team Alfredsson. Suter went next to Team Chara.

Nashville is the only team with two blue liners selected to play in the game. Weber is tied for third among all NHL defensemen in points (34) and goals (10) and is tied for second with five power play goals. Suter is tied for 10th in assists with 23.

This is the second year the draft has been a part of the All-Star festivities.

It started with two players on each team, captains Daniel Alfredsson of host Ottawa and Zdeno Chara of Boston, and their assistants. That left 38 players to be selected. According to rules of the draft, all goalies had to be selected within the first 20 picks and all defensemen needed to be taken by the 30th choice.

Three defensemen, including former Predator Kimmo Timonen, went before Weber and Suter.

A year ago Weber was picked eighth overall and third among defensemen by captain Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit. Lidstrom and Weber then played together in the game, and Weber tied an All-Star record for defesnemen with four assists.

He will become the first Nashville player to appear in three All-Star Games when he plays Sunday (3 p.m., NBC Sports Network). Timonen was selected to three and played in two during his time with Nashville.