Alex Ovechkin headlines the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition

The NHL revealed the player assignments for the 2023 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, which will include seven events showcasing hockey's greatest talent on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m.

Alexander Ovechkin in a file photo. (image credits: instagram)
By Blesson Daniel | Feb 4, 2023 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The 2023 NHL All-Star weekend has arrived, and although we previously knew who will be representing each of the league’s four divisions in Sunrise, Florida, we also know who will compete in each event during Friday night’s skills competition.

The 2023 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will be on ESPN on Friday at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the All-Star Game on ABC on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.

The Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Breakaway Challenge, and Accuracy Shooting tasks will return to the skills competition. There are three new Florida-specific challenges, including the Splash Shot, Pitch ‘n Puck, and Tendy Tandem. Each event’s winner will get $30,000. Here’s a summary of each challenge and the players that are taking part.

Upper Deck NHL Fastest Skater

  • Kevin Fiala, Los Angeles Kings
  • Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings
  • Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild
  • Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
  • Chandler Stephenson, Vegas Golden Knights
  • Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes

In the fastest skater competition, each competitor will skate a full lap around the ice at FLA Live Arena. The player who completes his lap in the shortest period of time wins.

Larkin is the only athlete in this year’s field who has previously won the race, with a time of 13.172. Makar is the only other athlete that competed in the fastest skater competition last year, finishing with a time of 13.834.

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Great Clips NHL Breakaway Challenge

  • Celebrity goaltender: Roberto Luongo
  • Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals/Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (teaming up)
  • David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
  • Matthew Tkachuk, Florida Panthers

Each participant in the breakaway challenge demonstrates his inventiveness and talent by going one-on-one with the goalie and attempting to score a goal. The winner is chosen by the popular vote. Ovechkin is the man to beat in this tournament, having won it three times throughout his remarkable career, in 2008, 2009, and 2011. Marner, Pastrnak, and Tkachuk, on the other hand, are sure to give the veteran a run for his money.

Discover NHL Tendy Tandem

  • Shooters: Alex Carpenter, Hilary Knight, Emily Clark, Rebecca Johnston, Sarah Nurse
  • Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg Jets
  • Juuse Saros, Nashville Predators
  • Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
  • Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers
  • Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders
  • Logan Thompson, Vegas Golden Knights
  • Linus Ullmark, Boston Bruins
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

This year’s NHL Tendy Tandem challenge is all new. The following is how the league characterizes the event:

“Eight goaltenders will participate in this event, with one goalie from each division designated the shooting goalie and one the in-net goalie. The shooting goalies will earn points based on the accuracy of their shots at the net, and the in-net goalies will face rushes of three, two, or one player(s), based on the number of points earned by the shooting goalie in their tandem.”

Enterprise NHL Splash Shot

  • Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
  • Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche
  • Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
  • Adam Fox, New York Rangers
  • Brady Tkachuk, Ottawa Senators
  • Matthew Tkachuk, Florida Panthers

Like the Tendy Tandem, the Splash Shot challenge is new this year and will take place on the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Four pairs of players will shoot at the targets in an attempt to dunk their opponents.

Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting

  • Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
  • Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
  • Kevin Hayes, Philadelphia Flyers
  • Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils
  • Nazem Kadri, Calgary Flames
  • Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • Brock Nelson, New York Islanders
  • Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers
  • Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Since its beginning, the NHL All-Star Skills Competition has included an accuracy shooting test. The event’s purpose is to strike the four targets affixed to the goal’s four corners as rapidly as possible. None of the participants in this year’s tournament have previously won it, thus it should be an exciting competition.

Chipotle NHL Pitch ‘n Puck

  • Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus Blue Jackets
  • Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
  • Jason Robertson, Dallas Stars
  • Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens

Four players will compete in the new Pitch ‘n Puck tournament on the golf course. The participants will play a par 4 with an island green using a combination of hockey and golf strokes. The player with the lowest score is the winner.

GEICO NHL Hardest Shot

  • Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres
  • Seth Jones, Chicago Blackhawks
  • Josh Morrissey, Winnipeg Jets
  • Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
  • Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks

Since its introduction, the Hardest Shot competition has been a mainstay of the All-Star Game. The competition’s purpose is to see who has the best shot. Former Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara holds the NHL record for the hardest shot, which he recorded in 2012 at 108.8 mph. Among the 2023 contestants, Ovechkin is the only player who has won the event, doing it in 2013 with a 101.3 mph shot.