Connor McDavid wins NHL All-Star skills competition in Toronto and US$1 million prize


Connor McDavid helped the NHL revamp its declining skills competition.

The Edmonton Oilers captain then went out and won the US$1 million prize.

McDavid won the fastest skating, stickhandling, shooting accuracy and obstacle course events on Friday after helping the league reinvent a part of All-Star weekend that had lost much of its luster during the last years.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar finished second. David Pastrnak (Boston), Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado), Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton), Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay), Auston Matthews (Toronto), William Nylander (Toronto), Elias Pettersson (Vancouver), Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders ) , JT Miller (Vancouver) and Quinn Hughes (Vancouver) made up the rest of the field.

Last year’s disappointing skills competition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., featured both golf course and beach events — an overall failure that prompted the NHL to seek to revive interest in players and fans.

The skills competition followed Thursday’s star player draft, before Saturday’s four-team showcase at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena.

The 12 players competed in four of the first six events – fastest skater, hardest shot, stickhandling and one-timers, and passing and shooting accuracy – with points awarded to each competitor.

The field was then reduced to eight once the goalkeepers were introduced for the one-on-one clash.

Two other competitors were eliminated before the final event – ​​an obstacle course.

Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was also on the ice along with injured Chicago center and 2023 No. 1 pick Connor Bedard.

McDavid won the title of fastest skater for a fourth time, completing his blistering lap around the Scotiabank Arena ice in 13.408 seconds to edge out Barzal (13.519), who beat the three-time NHL MVP in the same event in 2020.

MacKinnon won the new one-timer event, in which points were awarded based on where the puck hit the net.

Pettersson took on the passing accuracy challenge after some fans started booing Kucherov, with the striker appearing not to put enough effort into the event.

Makar wins the strongest shot

Makar won the most powerful shot with a blast of 102.56 miles per hour. Zdeno Chara’s record of 108.8 miles per hour from 2012, however, is safe for at least another year.

McDavid won the stickhandling event with a time of 25.755 seconds. The NHL’s points leader this season, Kucherov ran the course again, drawing more boos from the crowd.

McDavid, a native of Richmond Hill, Ont., competed in his de facto hometown at a rink where he watched the Maple Leafs grow up, then scored another victory in shot accuracy by making 4 for 4 in just 9.158 seconds . after finishing second last year.

The top eight – McDavid, Makar, Barzal, Pettersson, Matthews, Miller, MacKinnon and Nylander – advanced to the head-to-head shootout event.

Nylander won that competition with a superb performance that included a one-handed breakaway move from the Swede that was reminiscent of compatriot Peter Forsberg’s shootout move at the 1994 Olympics, while Colorado’s Alexandar Georgiev won 100,000 $ for best goalkeeping performance.

Petterson and MacKinnon were eliminated, leaving six players remaining for the final obstacle course, with McDavid winning in 40.606 seconds – and the $1 million payday.


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