A player voted onto a team that is comprised of the best players at their positions during an NHL regular season. The first all-star team is made up of one centre, two wingers, two defencemen and one goaltender (thus, only six players are first team all stars at the end of a season).
At the end of every regular season, the best players at every position from that season are selected to make up the first and second all star teams (for example, the best left winger will be a first team all star and the second best left winger will be a second team all star). The players making up the all star team are judged on regular season performance only, so their playoff performances have no impact on the selections. This means the chosen players need not necessarily be playing on a successful team to be chosen an all star.
The players who have earned the most first team all star selections are (by position): Centre - Wayne Gretzky (8 times), Left Wing - Bobby Hull (10 times), Right Wing - Gordie Howe (12 times), Defence - Ray Bourque (13 times, the most first-team selections in NHL history), Goalie - Glenn Hall (7 times).