NHL All-Star Skills competition filled with zany and jaw-dropping moments
The NHL All-Star Skills Competition was an absolute blast… literally.
Fans in Vegas were entertained by the sights, sounds, and pageantry of the event. As NHL mascots enjoyed themselves in the stands, the players on the ice put on a show that was truly worthy of its setting– Las Vegas.
Hedman hits 103.2 in hardest shot
Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay won the hardest shot competition. The NHL’s scoring leader among defensemen this season was clocked at 103.2 mph on his second slap shot, surpassing defenseman Adam Pelech of the New York Islanders (102.2 mph).
“I learned from my first one in L.A. I missed the net on the first one and then hit the bar on the second,” Hedman said. “Maybe I get a little stronger with age. It was fun to get to 103.”
Kyrou flies in fastest skater
Jordan Kyrou of the St. Louis Blues held off three-time champion Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers to win the fastest skater competition at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday in Las Vegas.
Kyrou circled the rink in 13.550 seconds to edge Adrian Kempe of the Los Angeles Kings (13.585). Kyrou then had to wait for McDavid, who was last in the field of eight skaters, to take his turn. But the three-time winner of the event was timed in 13.690 seconds and ended up fourth.
“You want to try and give it your all, so I just went out there and just moved my feet as quick as I could,” said Kyrou, who was selected to the All-Star Game for the first time after leading the Blues in goals (17) and points (42) through 40 games.
Vasilevskiy and Campbell share honors
Atlantic Division rivals Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Jack Campbell of the Toronto Maple Leafs teamed up to win the Save Streak competition, defeating goalie pairings from the Metropolitan, Central and Pacific Divisions. The event was changed to a team competition for the goalies this year after being an individual event from 2018-20.
Vasilevskiy and Campbell combined to save nine consecutive shots in the first round of the shootout-style format, and that streak held up through the next three rounds.
“Vassy gave me some great advice, and then when we got out there he showed me how to do it,” Campbell said of the 2018-19 Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s best goalie. “I appreciated his teamwork.”
NHL All-Star Skills Competition
Zach Werenski of the Columbus Blue Jackets hit his final-round targets in 25.634 seconds to defeat fellow defenseman Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators and win the Fountain Face-off, which was held on a floating platform in the middle of the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel.
“This is awesome,” Werenski said. “I have a lot of family and friends that are here right now on this trip watching and just to be here with them, it’s obviously a cool experience. Being at the Bellagio fountains is a once-in-a-lifetime (experience), so that’s a lot of fun.”
Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho won the Accuracy Shooting event by going a perfect 4 for 4. Despite being a little nervous attending his second All-Star game, he was settled down with advice from teammate Jaccob Slavin.
“Actually, he gave me a couple tips, but it was a little different because they had all the pucks in the middle,” Aho said. “So he just told me shoot as fast as you can, don’t stress too much if you miss one or not. I was thinking about that, but they gave us passes instead.”
Breakaway Challenge filled with zany moments
Another defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo of the hometown Vegas Golden Knights, won the prop-filled breakaway challenge with a score of 64 from the panel of celebrity judges. He did so by coming down with a full marching band.
There were some other cool moments, including Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov wearing an Ovechkin jersey to impersonate his hero. After spraying water around, he scored a goal and celebrated with Ovi’s hot-stick celly.
Trevor Zegras of Anaheim scored a wizard-like goal blindfolded while wearing an Average Joe’s jersey from the movie Dodgeball – with NHL mascots hurling dodgeballs. Meanwhile, the Devils Jack Hughes did a magic trick where a mini version of him scored on a breakaway.
–Field Level Media contributed to this article