The 2024 NHL All-Star Festivities kicked off in Toronto earlier in the week, with a variety of events taking place in the city. The first night of on-ice action featured the drafting of the rosters, a tribute to the 1967 Maple Leafs, and a three-on-three showcase featuring the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL)’s All Stars. Before the main event on Saturday, the skills competition took place on Friday night.
The NHL Skills Competition featured six primary events, in which all 12 competitors participated in four. They were awarded points based on their rankings. The eight highest scores advanced to a one-on-one shootout against the goaltender of their choice to potentially earn more points. The six highest-scoring players at this stage went to a double-scored obstacle course for one last attempt to jump up the rankings with the winner receiving a $1 million prize.
Some of the top competitors included Mathew Barzal from the NY Islanders, Auston Matthews from Toronto, and Leon Drasaitl from Edmonton. The competition consisted of six main events, including the fastest skater, one-timer, passing challenge, stickhandling, hardest shot, and accuracy shooting.
Connor McDavid was the favorite to win the fastest skater competition, while the one-timer event had names like David Pastrnak and Leon Draisaitl. The passing challenge involved hitting targets with passes while moving, and Leon Draisaitl was expected to excel in this event. The stickhandling competition featured players like Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon.
The hardest shot event had Elias Pettersson as the clear favorite, while the accuracy shooting competition featured names like David Pastrnak and Auston Matthews. After the first six events, the top eight-ranked performers advanced to a one-on-one challenge against the goalie of their choice, followed by a final obstacle course, with the highest-scoring player being crowned champion.
While Connor McDavid was seen as a legitimate threat in all of his events, there was potential for other players like Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews to potentially take the trophy home. The competition was fierce and the contenders were determined to earn the grand prize.