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The Canucks fan’s guide to the revamped 2024 NHL All-Star skills competition

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Photo credit:© Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
2 months ago
Yesterday’s NHL All-Star player draft brought some chaotic, hilarious, and downright dysfunctional moments, as the team captained by Quinn Hughes walked away with all of his Canucks teammates except for Elias Lindholm.
The fun continues today, as the reimagined NHL All-Star skills competition takes place at 4 PM Pacific Time. Here is the Vancouver Canucks fan’s guide to that event!

The Competitors

12 All-Stars will compete in a winner-take-all competition that combines events and assigns a point total for placement in each event. The winner takes home $1 million, so we’re expecting/hoping to see the players try a bit harder than they have in past years.
Elias Pettersson, forward, Vancouver Canucks
Quinn Hughes, defenceman, Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, forward, Vancouver Canucks
David Pastrnak, forward, Boston Bruins
Nathan MacKinnon, forward, Colorado Avalanche
Cale Makar, defenceman, Colorado Avalanche
Leon Draisaitl, forward, Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, forward, Edmonton Oilers
Mathew Barzal, forward, New York Islanders (Replacing Jack Hughes)
Nikita Kucherov, forward, Tampa Bay Lightning
Auston Matthews, forward, Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander, forward, Toronto Maple Leafs
As you can see, three of the Canucks’ six All-Stars will be competing in the event while Elias Lindholm, Thatcher Demko, and Brock Boeser cheer on their teammates.

Format and Scoring

This year’s skills competition includes eight events: six in the initial round, and one each in the second and third rounds. The 12 players mentioned above will compete for points in these events, and the player with the highest point total when all is said and done will take home the $1 million prize.
For event numbers 1-7, the scoring breakdown is as follows:
First-place finish: 5 points
Second-place finish: 4 points
Third-place finish: 3 points
Fourth-place finish: 2 points
Fifth-place finish: 1 point
Sixth-place or worse: 0 points
For event number 8, the point totals are juiced:
First place: 10 points
Second place: 8 points
Third place: 6 points
Fourth place: 4 points
Fifth place: 2 points
Sixth place: 0 points

The Events, and which Canucks are competing in them

Event 1: Fastest skater
Competitors: Quinn Hughes, Connor McDavid, William Nylander, Mat Barzal, and Cale Makar
So here you’ve got the two Norris Trophy favourites along with William Nylander and Mat Barzal competing for second place. This is Connor McDavid’s competition. But hey, ice can be slippery sometimes, even for NHL players.
Event 2: Hardest shot
Competitors: JT Miller, Elias Pettersson, Auston Matthews, Cale Makar, and David Pastrnak
Pettersson set the bar high last season when he took one of the hardest shots in NHL history at 103.2 mph en route to winning the event. Will JT Miller be able to top that? Will Pettersson be able to match it? We’ll find out tonight!
Event 3: Passing challenge
Competitors: Every competitor but David Pastrnak for some reason
The passing competition has taken on some different forms over the years, and this year’s is different in its own way.
Each player starts behind the net and has 45 seconds to complete 11 passes aimed at five sets of targets on both sides of the rink. Each set includes three targets of various sizes and point values (graded 1, 2, or 3). A successful pass that hits a target earns the player that number of points.
Players must execute the initial five passes along the full length of the ice, spanning from crease to crease. They must maintain awareness of their positioning, ensuring they stay within the specified lane and avoid going “offside.” Subsequently, the following six passes will originate from the faceoff dots, with specific target locations and passing lanes indicated in the accompanying graphic. Whoever tallies the highest number of points within the 45-second timeframe or after completing 11 passes, whichever comes first, is declared the winner.
Here is a diagram to help explain it better:
Event 4: One-Timers
Competitors: Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, Nikita Kucherov, Auston Matthews, Mathew Barzal, Davis Pastrnak
Assisted by a designated passer distributing pucks from various points across the offensive zone, each participant is allotted one minute to execute three one-timers from each of the three designated shot positions, totalling nine shots. To accommodate potential inaccurate passes (we assume not everyone is going to get Quinn Hughes passing to them), a maximum of five passes is allowed at each position for the three shot attempts. Points are awarded based on the shot’s placement within the net, with the corners earning three points, and top shelf shots gaining the highest score of four points.
As shown in the diagram below, a barrier will block off the bottom of the net.
Event 5: Stick-handling
Competitors: Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson, Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov, Leon Draisaitl, Nathan MacKinnon, David Pastrnak, Mathew Barzal, William Nylander
This event will be interesting, to say the least.
Each player must control the puck while skating through a series of 20 pucks, navigate a series of cones while skating forward and backward, and then show off a toe drag around a net-front barrier before taking a shot on goal. If a player loses control of the puck, he will have to return to the puck or cone that was missed. The clock will run until the player has put the puck in the net. The fastest player to complete this course wins.
Event 6: NHL Accuracy Shooting
Competitors: Quinn Hughes, JT Miller, Nikita Kucherov, Cale Makar, Connor McDavid, David Pastrnak, Nathan MacKinnon, William Nylander, Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews.
It’s a shame that Brock Boeser won’t get the chance to defend his accuracy shooting crown, but hopefully his teammates can go win this event for him. Unlike when Boeser competed in the competition, the foam targets in each corner of the net are back.
For this event, the clock runs and stops once the shooter has hit all four targets. The player to hit all four targets in the least amount of time wins the event.
Event 7: NHL One-On-One (Round 2 of Skills Competition)
Competitors: The top eight point-getters following the first six events will compete in this event.
In this event, each skater has one minute to score as many goals as possible. Pucks are placed at six designated positions, and the player cannot shoot before crossing the hashmarks. The puck is dead once it crosses the goal line (inside the net or outside), with no rebounds allowed. Goals scored with the first five pucks lined up are worth one point each; goals scored with pucks No. 6 and up are worth two points each. The player with the most points once the minute is up wins the event.
This event marks Thatcher Demko’s first event of the night, as eight goaltenders will suit up. Players choose which goalie to shoot against, and a player cannot end up shooting against his own team’s goaltender. The goalie with the most saves also wins $100,000, a nice incentive for the goalies to actually try.
Event 8: Obstacle Course (Final Round)
Competitors: The top six point getters from the first seven events will compete in the final round.
This event is a bit complicated, and is designed to test multiple skills. Here is Sportsnet’s explanation of the event:
“This eighth and final event is designed to test multiple skills in a timed environment. On the referee’s whistle, the player takes off from the centre-ice line with the puck, skating around the back of the net and approaching a series of 12 bridges in the neutral zone — six of which will light up green, indicating the player must guide the puck beneath them. The player will then encounter a pile of pucks and a trio of mini nets intended to test accuracy on the fly. Once the player scores in each of those three mini nets, there’s a cone course to navigate, puck on stick, back through the neutral zone before taking aim at a target in the net upon its conclusion. The clock stops once the player successfully hits the target with the puck. The player with the fastest time wins.”
So there you have it folks! One winner will take home the gold tonight, and the Canucks have more player representation in the competition than any other team, even the hosting Toronto Maple Leafs!
Get your predictions for tonight’s skills competition into the comments section below!

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