NHL All-Star Skills competition: Full list of winners, top highlights

Check out all the winners and the best highlights from the NHL Skills competition.

The NHL's 2023 All-Star weekend kicked off Friday in Sunrise, Fla., with the skills competition. This year's showcase featured some new events alongside all the usual favorites.

Here's a recap of each event along with the winners and best highlights.

Alex Ovechkin's son stole the show at the NHL All-Star skills competition. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Alex Ovechkin's son stole the show at the NHL All-Star skills competition. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)

Hardest Shot

During Sportsnet’s telecast, Erik Karlsson shared his opinion that anyone getting over 100 m.p.h. in this event would be accomplishing a lot. After all, last year’s winner Victor Hedman (103.2 mph) wasn’t on hand, and defensemen aren’t bringing the same beef as all-time record-holder Zdeno Chara (108.8). Elias Pettersson ended up winning the whole thing by a mile with a top shot of 103.2. Rasmus Dahlin also hammered one beyond 100.

Technically, Alex Ovechkin failed totally the first time because he hit a post. He settled for a second shot (95.1) where he maybe emphasized accuracy.


WINNER - Elias Pettersson: 103.2 m.p.h.

2. Rasmus Dahlin: 102.3 m.p.h.

3. Josh Morrissey: 96.7 m.p.h.

4. Seth Jones: 95.7 m.p.h.

5. Alex Ovechkin: 95.1 m.p,h,

Accuracy Shooting

Heading into the 2022-23 season, it sure felt like Connor McDavid resolved to chase a Maurice Richard Trophy. Through 50 games, McDavid already has 41 goals (plus 51 assists for 92 points) — not far from his career-high of 44 goals. McDavid asserted his shooting prowess during the first round of the accuracy shooting competition, hitting four of four targets. It really gave off the vibe of “Connor McDavid won’t share anything, will he?”

Last year’s winner was Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho, who set a time of 10.937 seconds. Notably, the NHL returned to styrofoam targets, moving away from … whatever it was they did before. It was confusing and oddly unsatisfying.

Unscientific aside: Nazem Kadri seemed to hit targets with more accuracy and verve once he heard some boos.

The NHL trotted out an interesting wrinkle for the semifinal rounds: rival shooters fired at targets at the same time. If you’ve ever watched two sporting events on different screens at the same time, it had some of that vibe. This probably wasn’t the easiest format for players, but it at least made it look different.

McDavid enjoyed another great accuracy shooting round, but amusingly enough, Kadri performed even better. Kadri’s red-hot run landed him — not McDavid — in the final round against Islanders forward Brock Nelson.

Nelson ended up hitting four targets before Kadri to win.

Toward the end of the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills competition, it felt like two cornerstone events got rushed a bit: the hardest shot and accuracy shooting. Going forward, it would be preferable to cut down on the golf and convoluted events, and let the most popular events breathe.

Impressive shooting from Nelson, Kadri, McDavid, and others, though.

Results (time in seconds):

WINNER: Brock Nelson

2. Nazem Kadri: (lost to Nelson in final)

T-3 Connor McDavid: (lost to Kadri in semifinal)

T-3 Artemi Panarin: (lost to Nelson in semifinal)

5. Nikita Kucherov: 18.147 (eliminated after first round)

6. Kevin Hayes: 22.377 (eliminated after first round)

7. Vladimir Tarasenko: 25.062 (eliminated after first round)

8. Aleksander Barkov: 25.297 (eliminated after first round)

9. Jack Hughes: 32.324 (eliminated after first round)

10. Leon Draisaitl: 36.956 (eliminated after first round)

Fastest Skater

It often happens with the NBA’s slam dunk competition, but the 2023 edition of fastest skater existed despite the noticeable absence of superstar burner Connor McDavid. Some might picture all of Friday’s fastest skaters against an imaginary McDavid, much like racing a ghost version of Mario in Mario Kart.

Some may get preoccupied enough thinking about McDavid’s speed that they’ll forget that Jordan Kyrou actually won last year’s version with a time of 13.55 seconds.

The first fastest skater participant didn’t register a score at all. Cale Makar served as a potential favorite, yet he blew a tire on a turn and fell to the ice. Luckily, Makar didn’t appear to suffer an injury with that spill — aside from maybe to his pride. Losing your footing in the fastest skater is one of the big fears of the competition, along with generally “seeming slow.”

Kirill Kaprizov did not end up participating in the fastest skater. His former Wild teammate Kevin Fiala (now with the Los Angeles Kings) finished with a time of 13.99. One-time fastest skater winner Dylan Larkin bowed out in the first round. Ultimately, Andrei Svechnikov (Carolina Hurricanes) and Fiala (Kings) made it to the final round.

About an hour after the preliminary round, Fiala and Svechnikov completed the event. Svechnikov continued a pretty strong showing, winning it at 13.699, beating Kevin Fiala’s score of 14.114.

Going to go out on a limb and say that this event should probably just be completed at once, rather than breaking it up into parts.

Maybe the best footage of all involved P.K. Subban going for an unofficial spin:

Results (with finishing time)

WINNER: Andrei Svechnikov: 13.699

2. Kevin Fiala: 14.114 (lost in final)

3. Chandler Stephenson: 14.197 (eliminated after first round)

4. Dylan Larkin: 14.558 (eliminated after first round)

5. Cale Makar: 22.304 (eliminated after first round)

Tendy Tandem

Short version: Connor Hellebuyck and Juuse Saros won “Tendy Tandem” for the Central Division. Here’s a rundown of what actually happened, though.

In case you didn’t realize that 2023 NHL All-Star weekend is taking place in Florida Panthers country, fans made that clear when they booed Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. (Players awkwardly handling being booed is one of the most consistently entertaining parts of any All-Star weekend.)

Anyway, “Tendy Tandem” felt mostly like a showcase for goalies who can handle the puck, as one goalie would shoot from behind their net at a target across the ice. Nostalgic folks probably wish that Martin Brodeur and Ron Hextall could have participated in this event.

The event split up goalies into duos, with one netminder shooting and the other defending breakaways against NHL All-Stars and other noteworthy participants. Honestly, “Tendy Tandem” would be more fun and coherent if it only boiled down to goalies trying to score on those targets. The home crowd got excited for goalies shooting at those targets, especially when Saros and Stuart Skinner didn’t just get their shots on “net,” but through the small box that should win them some sort of prize.

Credit to Sarah Nurse for pulling off “The Forsberg” during an attempt against Igor Shesterkin:

Count me among those who wondered why Shesterkin wasn't shooting, as his puckhandling skills have been noted. Oh well, maybe next time, with a better version of “Tendy Tandem?” Maybe with a better name than “Tendy Tandem,” too?


WINNERS: Connor Hellebuyck & Juuse Saros: 13

2. Stuart Skinner & Logan Thompson: 11

3. Linus Ullmark & Andrei Vasilevskiy: 9

4. Igor Shesterkin & Ilya Sorokin: 6

Breakaway Challenge


WINNERS: Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby (teaming up with Ovechkin's son, Sergei)

After giving Subban their autograph, this breakaway duo teamed up with a special third guest: Sergei Ovechkin, wearing an “Ovi Jr” jersey. Truly, Roberto Luongo had no chance in that 3-on-0 rush.

Mitch Marner

With help from Subban, Mitch Marner entered with a Miami Vice-style getup (including special skates and sunglasses), but couldn’t quite seal the deal against Luongo.

David Pastrnak

Wearing a Happy Gilmore jersey, David Pastrnak went for a put, and deployed Adam Sandler’s anger when he missed the net. There were some references, mascots, and Pastrnak busting out a Glimore-level celebration. It’s fair enough that celebrity judges didn’t dock any points for a lack of Carl Weathers, but he was missed.

Matthew Tkachuk

Matthew Tkachuk and Brady Tkachuk teamed up for their breakaway challenge attempt, which included some Beach Boys action. Luongo couldn’t stop Matthew Tkachuk’s elaborate scheme, particularly with a pool noodle. It was a lot.

Ultimately, the Tkachuk brothers put up a great effort — and delighted the home crowd — but couldn’t win it all. Next time, maybe they should summon Keith Tkachuk?

Splash Shot

Leaning into the sunny Florida locale, ‘Splash Shot’ combined a gimmicky version of the accuracy shooting competition (aiming at surf boards) with dunk tanks. Gloriously, Matthew Tkachuk ended up being one of the players getting that dunk tank treatment. Nathan MacKinnon must have been a little bit disappointed to not dunk teammate Cale Makar.

Speaking of Colorado Avalanche teammates, Makar and Mikko Rantanen ended up winning the event. Makar did Sportsnet’s David Amber a favor by pretending it was a big deal to win the event.


WINNERS: Mikko Rantanen & Cale Makar

2. Igor Shesterkin & Adam Fox: Lost in final

T-3 Sidney Crosby & Nathan MacKinnon: Eliminated after first round

T-3 Brady Tkachuk & Matthew Tkachuk: Eliminated after first round

Pitch 'n' Puck

If “golf but with hockey” is too simple, here’s the rundown for this event:

Four players will face off on a par-4 hole with an island green, using both pucks and balls to achieve the lowest score and be declared winners of this brand new competition.

Announcers used their best golf voices to announce this golf-meets-hockey event. This “Pitch’n’Puck” idea seems like it could be a good fit for a standalone video on a team’s Youtube channel. As part of an already-bloated skills competition? Pass.

Some of the formatting with these events left you frustrated with missing players. Having this without Joe Pavelski felt wrong.

Clearly, someone decided to break the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills competition into segments — possibly assuming that would keep viewers hooked. Maybe that will work, but it made for some painful pacing, even for someone like Trevor Zegras.

The event ended with a putting competition. Nick Suzuki earned a birdie, and thus won “Chipotle for a year.” This seems like a natural opportunity for mean jokes about Suzuki having plenty of time to work on his golf game considering the season the Montreal Canadiens are enduring.


WINNER: Nick Suzuki

Johnny Gaudreau

Clayton Keller

Jason Robertson

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