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A Brief 2022 Guide To The NHL All Star Skills Competition

McDavid, Draisaitl and the rest of the NHL’s stars converge in Vegas for annual shindig

NHL All Star Game Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images

All Star weekend is here. It’s a break in the season for some good old-fashioned fun, when the Wales would defeat the Campbell Conference by some gaudy score like 24-21 in a loose game of shinny. The skills competition has undergone some significant changes over years and decades past, but some things remain the same.

The Skills competition is live from Las Vegas tonight, and two of Edmonton’s best and brightest will highlight the competition.

Fastest Skater

  • Connor McDavid
  • Adrian Kempe
  • Kyle Connor
  • Chris Kreider
  • Jordan Kyrou
  • Dylan Larkin
  • Eveny Kuznetsov
  • Cale Makar

I suppose there will be day where Connor McDavid is not one of the fastest players in the NHL, but I don’t think that’s going to be for at least a few years. This competition is pretty straightforward, it’s the one to see who can do the fastest lap around the rink starting from the red line. The Islanders’ Mat Barzal defeated McDavid in 2020 by a fraction of a second in this competition, I would be somewhat surprised to see McDavid not win this one this year.

Accuracy Shooting

  • Leon Draisaitl
  • Sebastian Aho
  • Jake Guentzel
  • Johnny Gaudreau
  • Troy Terry
  • Clayton Keller
  • Rasmus Dahlin
  • Jonathan Marchessault
  • Patrice Bergeron

This one needs a rework from 2020. The giant bullseye targets underwent some transformations over the years, but in 2020 they were replaced altogether by a screen with digital targets on them. It worked about as well as you would expect, and it’d be way more enjoyable if targets were brought back this year. Shooters get as much time as they need to knock all five targets out. Jaccob Slavin won this in 2020.

Hardest Shot

  • Victor Hedman
  • Timo Meier
  • Tom Wilson
  • Adam Pelech

It’s the Al Iafrate event. Grip it and rip it. Hardest shot wins. 2020’s winner was Shea Weber, who was hitting radio stations with his numbers.

Breakaway Challenge

  • Jack Hughes
  • Kirill Kaprizov
  • Alex DeBrincat
  • Alex Pietrangelo
  • Trevor Zegras

Manon Rhéaume and Wyatt Russell will guard the nets against some of the NHL’s best. This is usually the least serious event of them all, props often make an appearance and it’s more fun than anything.

Save Streak

  • Cam Talbot
  • Juuse Saros
  • John Gibson
  • Thatcher Demko
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy
  • Frederik Andersen
  • Tristian Jarry

It’s open season on the NHL’s best goaltenders as the All-Stars take turns try to spoil a save streak. Looking for strong showing from Cam Talbot for purely sentimental reasons, as he’s the last guy to take the Oilers to the second season.

The Fountain Face Off

  • Mark Stone
  • Zach Werenski
  • Roman Josi
  • Jordan Eberle
  • Claude Giroux
  • Nick Suzuki
  • Jonathan Huberdeau

This is an event that will require the participants to get into the fountains at the Bellagio and travel via boat to shoot pucks into targets. Hoping the boat rides are like the ring carts at Wrestlemania 3.

The 21 In ‘22

  • Auston Matthews
  • Joe Pavelski
  • Brady Tkachuk
  • Steven Stamkos
  • Nazem Kadri

Players fire pucks at a giant Wheel-of-Fortune style letterboard trying to get the closest to 21 without going over. Like Blackjack. In Vegas. Get it? Right.

Who wins? I don’t know. It’s the All-Star Skills competition, and like the All-Star Game (which is now three games), don’t take it too seriously. Enjoy something light until Tuesday, when the Oilers play three games in four nights.