ANCHORAGE - A former skater at East Anchorage High School has joined hockey's elite in his rookie season. Scott Gomez has been named to the National Hockey League's all-star team.
The 19-year-old Gomez is having a stellar year with the New Jersey Devils. He becomes just the second Alaskan ever to make the all-star team of a major professional sport.
Gomez was named Thursday as a reserve to the North American Team that will skate against the World Team on Feb. 6 in Toronto.
Gomez was a two-time Alaska high school player of the year at East. He leads the Devils this season in scoring with 12 goals and 30 assists in 43 games.
``I'm definitely in shock,'' Gomez told the Anchorage Daily News from his New Jersey apartment. ``This game is something you grow up watching all your life, and to be a part of it is kind of mind-boggling.
``It's going to be wild.''
Gomez will play on the same team with the likes of NHL superstars Ray Bourque, Mark Messier and Steve Yzerman.
``He's loved those guys since he was little,'' Gomez's mother, Dalia, said from the family's Anchorage home Thursday afternoon. ``Scott is so overwhelmed. It's like a dream come true.''
Gomez is one of two rookies who will play in the game. Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Petr Buzek was named to the World Team on Wednesday. Gomez and Buzek are the first rookies to play in the game since Ottawa forward Daniel Alfredsson skated in the 1996 contest.
The only other Alaskan to make an all-star team was professional football player Mark Schlereth, who was named to the NFL's Pro Bowl as a Washington Redskin in 1991 and as a Denver Bronco in 1998. Schlereth played his high school football at Anchorage Service.