NHL All-Star Skills Competition: Time, Events & Participants

 NHL All-Star Skills Competition, NHL All-Star Game, NHL

Brandon Saad is set to hear his name called quite frequently in Saturday night’s NHL All-Star Skills Competition. (Getty)

The NHL announced the All-Star participants for Saturday night’s Skills Competition and this is going to be pretty good.

The captains of all four divisions helped determine which plays will participate and the winning conference on Saturday will earn the right to select when its semifinal matchup will be played, first or second, during the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Some of the biggest names in the league will take to the ice for the annual event, which will be broadcast on NBCSN in the United States and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada. It all gets underway at 7 p.m. ET and we’ve got the breakdown of who’s competing in what competition and how each event will go down:

Fastest Skater

Eastern Conference: Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings); Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets); Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators); Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Western Conference: Roman Josi (Nashville Predators); Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche); Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers); Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets)

Four players test their speed in a two-skater race. There are six points available – the winner of each race scores one point the team with the fastest skater gets a bonus point and, if the fastest skater can break Mike Gartner’s record of 13.386 seconds, they’ll get a bonus point.

Breakaway Challenge

Eastern Conference: Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets); Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals); P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens); Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)
Western Conference: James Neal (Nashville Predators); Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalanche); Brent Burns (San Jose Sharks); Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings)

If you’re not excited to see Cory Schneider and Jonathan Quick try to score a breakaway goal, then we don’t know what to do for you.

Accuracy Shooting

Eastern Conference: John Tavares (New York Islanders); Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins); Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers); Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins): Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals); Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers)
Western Conference: Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks); Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks); Cory Perry (Anaheim Ducks); Jami Benn (Dallas Stars); Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings); Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues)

Four shooters from each team will participate with two other players serving as passers in an event that consists of four head-to-head matchups. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets in the four corners of the net. This one has five available points.

Skills Challenge Relay

Eastern Conference, Relay 1: Aaron Eblad (Florida Panthers, one-timer RH); Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Sentaors, one-time RH); Steven Stakmos (Tampa Bay Lightning (one-timer RH); Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins, one-time passer); Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals, mini-net passer); Justin Faulk (Florida Panthers, stick-handling); Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals, goalie goals)
Western Conference, Relay 2: Shea Weber (Nashville Predators, one-time RH); Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings, one-timer RH); Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks, one-time RH); Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers, one-time); Daniel Sedin (Vancouver Canucks, mini-net passer); Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames, stick-handling); Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks, stick-handling); Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators, goalie goals)

Eastern Conference, Relay 2: Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers, one-timer LH): Leo Komarov (Toronto Maple Leafs, one-timer LH); Ryan O’Reilly (Buffalo Sbares, one-timer LH); Jaromir Jagr (Florida Panthers, one-time passer); Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals, mini-net passer); Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins, puck control); Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings, stick-handling); Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning, goalie goals)
Western Conference, Relay 2: Mark Giordano (Calgary Flames, one-timer LH); James Neal (Nashville Predators, one-timer LH); Vladimir Tarasenko (St. Louis Blues, one-timer LH); Matt Duchene (Colorado Avalance, one-time passer); Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars, mini-net passer); Roman Josi (Nashville Predators, puck control); Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars, stick-handling); Devan Dubnyk (Minnesota Wild, goalie goals)

As you’d expect, each skill must be completed before moving on to the next challenge and the goal is to finish all five challenges faster than the opponent. There are three points available in this one.

Hardest Shot

Eastern Conference: Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers); Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins); Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning); P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)
Wesetern Conference: Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets); Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars); John Scott (Arizona Coyotes); Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)

Exactly what it sounds like. Players test their slap shot skills in a  head-to-head matchup. This one has five points available.


NHL Shootout

Eastern Conference, Round 1: Aaron Ekblad (Florida Panthers); Evgeni Malkin (Pittsburgh Penguins); Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning); P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens)
Western Conference, Round 1: Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets); Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars); John Scott (Arizona Coyotes); Shea Weber (Nashville Predators)

Eastern Conference, Round 2: Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins); Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals); Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning); Evgeny Kuznetsov (Washington Capitals); Ryan McDonagh (New York Rangers); Justin Faulk (Carolina Hurricanes); Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals);
Western Conference, Round 2: Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks); Taylor Hall (Edmonton Oilers); Jamie Benn (Dallas Stars); James Neal (Nashville Predators); Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames); Dustin Byfuglien (Winnipeg Jets); John Gibson (Anaheim Ducks)

Eastern Conference, Round 3: Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers); Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings); John Tavares (New York Islanders); Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins); Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators); Brandon Saad (Columbus Blue Jackets); Cory Schneider (New Jersey Devils)
Western Conference, Round 3: John Scott (Arizona Coyotes); Shea Weber (Nashville Predators); Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars); Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks); Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings); Roman Josi (Nashville Predators); Pekka Rinne (Nashville Predators)

A three-round shootout made up of two-minute rounds with a maximum of 10 seconds to take a shot. Every goal scored earns a point, while every goal scored with a puck of special designation earns two points.

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