Known for his lightning-quick speed, it’s not a surprise that Connor McDavid is always asked to part in the fastest skater event at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. In his fifth All-Star Weekend appearance, the Edmonton Oilers captain has taken the fan-favourite lap around the rink each and every time.
A three-time victor of the event, McDavid won in his first fastest skater appearance in 2017 and won two more consecutive attempts after that in 2018 and 2019 respectively. It looked like nobody was going to beat out McDavid anytime soon, but the 2022 All-Star Skills competition in Vegas proved in a rare occurrence that McDavid is still human and can’t win it every year.
The fastest lap around the rink came at the hands, or feet, of St. Louis Blues winger Jordan Kyrou. His 13.550 second lap time beat out McDavid by 0.14 seconds.
McDavid’s 13.690-second lap was only the fourth fastest time out of the eight participants. Many players and spectators alike chalked it down to McDavid, or Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin to be crowned the fastest skater. However, both players got bested by newer participants. Jordan Kyrou finished with the top time, followed by L.A. Kings forward Adrian Kempe (13.585), New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider (13.664), McDavid (13.690), Cale Makar (13.834), Kyle Connor (13.851), Dylan Larkin (14.116), and Evgeni Kuznetsov (14.559).
In winning the Fastest Skater challenge, Kyrou became the first St. Louis Blues player to ever finish atop the chart in the event. He is also the third Blues skater in four seasons to win an individual challenge at the yearly festivities.
McDavid’s three fastest skater winning lap times were all faster than Kyrou’s 2022 marker, however, he couldn’t seem to best the new challengers to the event this time around.
After four Fastest Skater appearances and three wins to his name, McDavid is open to giving another event a try to showcase his other talents outside of his elite speed. Especially after watching his fellow all-stars put their accuracy to the test in the middle of the Bellagio fountains. “Yeah, I think I’ve kind of been doing the lap for a while, and it would be fun to try to do some different things too, so it’ll be fun to try something like that to look different, and it looked like the guys had some fun with it,” said the Richmond Hill, Ont. native.
Taking notice of the pageantry that his peers and former teammates displayed at the NHL Skills Competition was not lost on the Oilers captain. One player who particularly surprised him was Chicago Blackhawks right-winger Alex DeBrincat, who was among those to take part in the breakaway challenge. “I was a little surprised,” the 25-year-old admitted. “Brinks is a little bit of a quieter guy, so I didn’t see that coming out of out of DeBrincat, but you show a little personality there, and it was pretty funny.”
DeBrincat, inspired by the location of the All-Star Weekend, paid homage to a popular movie based out of Las Vegas, the Hangover. Suited up as Alan from the movie, as played by Zach Galifianakis, the Farmington Hills, MI native caught a football from Derek Carr, current NFL quarterback. DeBrincat caught the ball before bringing it to his stick, beating Wyatt Russell for the goal.
McDavid’s interest in trying out some new All-Star events and the thrill of watching his former teammates compete will leave fans wondering what the future has in store for him come his next inevitable appearance at the league’s annual festivities.