As any long-time observer of NHL All-Star Weekend knows, the skills competition is where it’s at.
The actual games are low-energy affairs in which players compete to see who can exert the least amount of effort. (Unless of course, your name is John Scott.)
But there seems to be a certain amount of pride for those that participate in the skills competition. After all, having the title as the NHL’s fastest skater or hardest shooter is… kinda awesome.
So can expect Vancouver Canucks fans (especially younger ones) to tune in to watch phenoms Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson show off their skills.
Though, that should come with a forewarning: the chances of either winning their event are… not good.
For the second year in a row, Pettersson is weirdly not being asked to take part in the accuracy shooting competition, even though that’s clearly his strength when it comes to the events on offer. (The two players from the Pacific Division participating in that one are Leon Draisatl of the Edmonton Oilers and Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks.)
Instead, Pettersson will partake in the hardest shot contest. And though the Swede does indeed have an awesomely hard clapper, he’s probably going to be in tough.
Pettersson is the only forward in the group of six, which includes Montreal Canadiens’ blueliner Shea Weber, and his absolute cannon of a shot.
Hughes is probably in the correct category, but he’s still a big underdog in a fastest skater competition that includes reigning champion Connor McDavid. Similar to Pettersson, Hughes is the only rearguard in a battle stacked with forwards.
Last year Pettersson was in the fastest skater group, and while he didn’t challenge McDavid, he looked quite good and ended up placing fifth.
Late addition Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers has long been one of the league’s fastest skaters and will also be gunning for McDavid’s crown.
Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom will also be attending the festivities and will be competing in the save-streak competition with the other netminders.
Follow @ncaddell on Twitter