NHL All-Star Skills Competition Preview

I love the Skills Competition, ever since I was a little kid, it was far and away my favorite thing to watch. I think All-Star games in all sports catch a lot of heat, deservingly so, because most of them suck. The Pro Bowl is hands down the worst football game every year and their skills competition isn’t entertaining. The NBA skills competition was cool to watch when the best players actually participated in the dunk contest. The Home Run Derby is pretty good, but personally, the NHL Skills Competition is my favorite. I have no idea who is actually participating, but here are my predictions for who will win each event tomorrow night.

 

Fastest Skater

 

Let’s preview who will place second, since Connor McDavid already won this event. Mathew Barzal can fly, wouldn’t be surprised to see him give McDavid a run for his money. Jack Eichel may also put up a good time, but he didn’t even place second last year. I’d like to say Miro Heiskanen in this event, too, he won’t win, but he’d be fun to watch. We all know McDavid is going to win, given that he participates.

 

Premier Passer

 

This event will be a lot closer, since the 2018 winner, Alec Pietrangelo, won’t be competing. I’d expect to see Kris Letang, Nikitia Kucherov, and Nathan MacKinnon be some of the participants. I’m going to go with John Carlson to win this competition, because I think he’ll shine in the breakout passing part of this event.

 

Save Streak

 

Obviously, the early favorite in this event would be Marc-Andre Fleury, since he won last year. However, I think Andrei Vasilevskiy will show off his flexibility and outplay Fleury. The dude is one of the most entertaining goaltenders in the NHL and makes unbelievable saves, making the Lightning even better than they already are. Braden Holtby and Pekka Rinne will probably also be competing, but I think this one will come down to Fleury versus Vasilevskiy.

 

Puck Control

 

Last year’s winner, Johnny Gaudreau, will most likely be participating. Don’t let that fool you to think he’s an automatic winner. Patrick Kane was and still is one of the best puck-handlers the league has ever seen. Am I biased? Completely. But this is my pick to win. I could also see players like John Tavares, Sebastian Aho, and Clayton Keller in this event, but ultimately, I have to go with my hometown team.

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Hardest Shot

 

This one is my favorite event because normally I get to see guys like Ovechkin, Chara, and Weber rip 100 mph shots, but none of the three are competing this year. I’d say the favorite in this competition is Steven Stamkos. Other than Ovechkin, he has the best slap shot in the NHL, but last year he placed 4thout of the 5 shooters. Brent Burns will definitely be competing, since he did last year and the competition is in San Jose. I want to see Jack Eichel in this competition, I feel like he’d do well, but honestly, I’ll go with Burns here because the crowd is going to be absolutely wild when he’s up.

 

Accuracy Shooting

 

This one is going to have so many big names participating. Auston Matthews, Jeff Skinner, Cam Atkinson, Sidney Crosby, Mikko Rantanen, Mark Scheifele, Joe Pavelski, and Elias Pettersson are my guesses for the participants. Everyone wants to say Sid here, but I really think Skinner will pull this one off. He’s tied for second in the league and goals and has been a lethal shooter this year. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Pettersson, considering another Vancouver rookie, Brock Boeser, won this event last year. Regardless, my pick here is Skinner.

 

Again, I have no idea who’s participating in these events, we won’t find out until tomorrow night. Don’t be mad if I didn’t mention your favorite players name because this is just my gut feeling. Nonetheless, I’m excited to watch the Skills Competition again this year.

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Author: patrick-belanger

Diehard Blackhawks fan from the suburbs of Chicago, follow me on Twitter for hockey updates, as well as other sports @pat_bel37

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