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Young Guns, Veterans Alike Shine in All-Star Skills Competition

Photo by Rick Scuteri

Young Guns, Veterans Alike Shine in All-Star Skills Competition

The 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition certainly had a very ‘Vegas-like’ flavour in the first-ever spectacle held from Nevada on Friday evening.

Featuring a the shutting down of the world renowned Vegas Strip for an all-new accuracy shooting/saucer passing event within the Bellagio Fountain, a ‘Blackjack’ styled game of 21, mixed in with the typical attractions of skills competitions from years past, annual event went without a hitch.

Dallas’ Joe Pavelski took down a generation of younger opponents in the NHL 21 in ’22 Blackjack with unheralded aim on Las Vegas Boulevard. Columbus’ Zach Werenski took down runners up Roman Josi (Nashville) and Jocelyne Lamoureaux (USA Women’s Hockey) with a record time of 25.634 seconds in the Fountain Face-Off.

The Atlantic Division’s goaltender duo of Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay) and Jack Campbell (Toronto) picked up nine-straight saves in the Save Streak competition, shutting the door on the Central Division’s Cam Talbot (Minnesota) and Juuse Saros (Nashville) who made just five-straight saves combined.

St. Louis Blues forward Jordan Kyrou beat out Dylan Larkin, Kyle Connor, Connor McDavid, Cale Makar, Chris Kreider, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Adrian Kempe in the fastest skater event, posting a winning time of 13.550, besting three-time winner McDavid’s time of 13.690 seconds.

The all-time anchor events of hardest shot and accuracy shooting featured Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman beating out his competition with a 103.2 mile-per-hour slap shot, while Carolina’s Sebastian Aho went four-for-four in accuracy shooting with a winning time of 10.937 seconds.

The ever-entertaining breakaway challenged featured some of the most creative elements in recent memory. Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat used Vegas football’s Derek Carr and Hunter Renfrow to help wow celebrity judge and teammate Darren Waller while re-enacting a scene from The Hangover with fellow celebrity Mike Tyson. Trevor Zegras pulled off one of the most incredible feats in breakaway challenge history, while blindfolded, scoring with a spinning lacrosse move, before Jack Hughes performed a magic trick and had a young child re-enact his over-time game winner before the duo successfully tossed their sticks into the crow in celebration.

Somehow, hometown defender Alex Pietrangelo won the event with a Vegas-styled light show and marching band despite missing the net on his attempt.

The NHL All-Star Weekend resumes on Saturday afternoon, with the All-Star Game at T-Mobile Arena kicking off at 2:00 PM central time. The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and ABC.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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