It's NHL All-Star Weekend and Friday night will feature the skills competition, including fastest skater, hardest shoot, stickhandling, one-times, passing challenge, accuracy shooting, the shootout, and the obstacle course.
As is the case with most all-star weekends, we're going to bet on the event but I recommend making it at least half the size as your usual bet since these can be tough to handicap and are really just "for fun".
I have three bets for tonight's skills competition that I'm going to break down in just a moment.
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NHL Skills Competition Best Bets
- Fastest Skater Winner: Matthew Barzal (+220)
- Hardest Shot Winner: Elias Pettersson (+130)
- Accuracy Shooter Winner: Auston Matthews (+700)
NHL Faster Skater prediction
You may be tempted to take Connor McDavid in this competition. He's the best hockey player in the world, is the betting favorite, and won this competition from 2017-2019.
But, I'd encourage you to consider going with the 2020 winner instead, Mathew Barzal. His time of 13.175 is the second fastest time in the history of this competition, including significantly faster than the three times McDavid won with and the two since Barzal won in 2020.
NHL Hardest Shot Prediction
If there's one competition that sees the most repeat winners, it's the hardest shot competition. Dating back to the 90s, there has been three seperate players who have won hardest shot at least five times. Al MacInnis did it from 1997-2000 and then again in 2003. Zdeno Chara won it from 2007-2012 and then Sea weber won it from 2015-2017 and again in 2020.
So, with that in mind, I'm going to roll with Elias Pettersson, who won it last year with a shot that measured 103.2 mph. At just 25 years old, there's no reason to think he won't be able to match that same speed again this year.
NHL Accuracy Shooting prediction
Whereas the hardest shooter has seen a ton of repeat winners, the accuracy shooter competition seems to be a crapshoot. We have seen a different winner in this event every single year dating back to 2004. So, with it being so unpredictable, why not take a shot on the league's leading scorer at +700?
Auston Matthews has already posted 40 goals this season, three more than anyone else in the NHL. Many would say he's the clear best goalscorer the league has to offer so there's no reason why he can't win this competition tonight.
Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
You can check out all of Iain's bets here!