The 21-year-old Finnish center is on pace for a 36-goal, 93-point season and looks to lead his Hurricanes back into the playoffs for the first time since 2009. He and an array of other NHL stars will be in the spotlight this weekend for the All-Star Skills Competition on Friday and the All-Star Tournament on Saturday. Aho will be participating in the Premier Passer event, as selected by the Department of Player Safety - yes, he gets the pleasure of trying to hit the infamous mini-nets.
Here’s how each NHL All-Star Skills Competition event will go down. The winner of each event will pocket a cool $25,000.
Eight players will compete in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.
- Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
- Kendall Coyne, U.S. Women’s National Team
- Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
- Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars
- Clayton Keller, Arizona Coyotes
- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
- Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
Eight players will compete in the Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™, which consists of three skills over one round, including (1) Breakout Pass, where each player is given 10 pucks to attempt to make a pass to three “players”; (2) Mini Nets, where each player must complete a pass over a barricade and into each of four mini nets; and (3) Target Passing, where each player must complete successful passes to all targets that randomly light up every three seconds. The referee’s whistle signals completion of each skill. The player to complete all three skills in the fastest time is deemed the winner of the Enterprise NHL Premier Passer™, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.
Demonstrator. Brianna Decker, U.S. Women’s National Team
- Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes
- Thomas Chabot, Ottawa Senators
- Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
- Roman Josi, Nashville Predators
- Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks
- Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues
- Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
- Keith Yandle, Florida Panthers
A minimum of four goalies and all 36 skaters will participate in the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™, a shootout grouped by division where goalies compete to make the most consecutive saves. Each goalie will face one opposing division and a minimum of nine scoring attempts. Each scoring attempt is officiated in accordance with NHL shootout rules and begins on the referee’s whistle. Players from each division will shoot in numerical order, lowest to highest, with the divisional captain shooting ninth. A goalie’s round at the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak™ cannot end with a save - if the divisional captain’s shot is saved, the goalie will continue to face shooters until a goal is scored. If the goalie makes a save on the divisional captain’s shot, the order of shooters to follow is the same as the original order. The goalie with the longest consecutive save streak during his time in net is the winner of the Ticketmaster NHL Save Streak ™. If at the completion of the event there is a tie for the longest “save streak” the winning goalie will be determined by the total number of saves made in their round. If two or more goalies remain tied based on the total number of saves made then the tied goalies will compete in a sudden death round of “Goalie Goals.”
- Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild
- Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights
- John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks
- Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
- Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings
- Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
- Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning
Eight players will compete in the Gatorade NHL Puck Control™, a timed single-round event that includes three skills: (1) Stick-handling, where a skater controls a puck through a series of ten pucks in a straight line; (2) Cone Control, where a skater controls a puck through a series of eight cones in a zig-zag formation; and (3) Gates, where a skater approaches each gate and is required to shoot or otherwise guide the puck through the lit rung of the gate. Following the gates, time stops when the puck is shot into the game net. Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next skill. The referee’s whistles will signal completion of each skill and the player to complete the three skills in the fastest time is deemed the winner of the Gatorade NHL Puck Control™. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.
Demonstrator: Rebecca Johnston, Canada’s Women’s National Team
- Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
- Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
- Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
- Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
- Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
- Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
- Jeff Skinner, Buffalo Sabres
- John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
Four players will compete in the SAP NHL Hardest Shot™. Over two rounds, each player will attempt two shots measured in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded. After each player’s first attempt, the order of shots for second attempts will be based on the speed recorded in the first round, slowest to fastest. For each attempt, a single puck is positioned on the ice 30 feet from the center of the goal. Starting no further than the nearest blue line, the shooter may skate towards the puck and shoot it from its positioned spot into the goal. Shots must be on goal to be calculated and all shots are recorded by radar in miles per hour. If a puck enters the goal uncalculated due to a malfunction of the radar equipment, the shooter will be allowed an additional attempt. If a player breaks his stick he will be given another attempt. The player who records the fastest speed is the winner of the SAP NHL Hardest Shot™. If there is a tie for the fastest speed, the tied players will shoot again to determine the winner.
- Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks
- John Carlson, Washington Capitals
- Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Eight players will compete in the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™, a timed event where a shooter is positioned 25 feet from the goal line and shoots pucks at five LED targets located in the net. On the referee’s whistle, one of the five LED targets will randomly light up for three seconds and the player will attempt to hit the lit target. Hit targets will be taken out of the random sequencing and if the target is not hit within three seconds, the next target will light up. The clock stops when the player has successfully hit all five targets, the player that hits all five targets in the fastest time will be crowned the winner of the Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting™. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will compete again to determine the winner.
Demonstrators: Kendall Coyne, U.S. Women’s National Team; Renata Fast, Canada Women’s National Team