2022 NHL Skills Contest: Live updates, highlights, how to watch Las Vegas All-Star Weekend

Defending champion of the fastest skaters competition, Islanders forward Mathew Barzal, isn’t here to defend his title, and Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid has a chance to walk away with a crowning glory. if he can cross the finish line before the others.

McDavid can become the competition’s first four-time champion. He joined Mike Gartner as the only three-time winner during his streak of dominance from 2017 to 2019. Gartner won in 1990, 1993, and 1996.

So who is likely to stand in his way? He has a pretty good idea.

“There are a lot of good skaters in the group. (Dylan) Larkin has already won, so I would definitely say Larkin.”

Not only has the Red Wings forward won before, but his winning time in 2016 (13.172) was faster than each of the McDavids (13.310 in 2016, 13.454 in 2018 and 13.378 in 2019).

Golden Knights forward Mark Stone, a self-proclaimed fan of skating’s toughest and fastest spectator competitions, echoed McDavid’s thoughts.

“I haven’t quite watched it yet, but I think I’m a Larkin guy,” Stone said. “If it was putting money on it, I’d bet Larkin.”

But fellow fastest skater Cale Makar predicted it would come down to a narrow margin.

“Hopefully I’m good competition for the other guys,” Makar said. “There are some pretty quick guys out there, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out, but I’m just looking to get out there and have some fun and see where it takes me.

“(McDavid) is a pretty quick guy. We obviously haven’t played him much in the last few years, but every one of these guys, you put them in a straight line run or a run around the net, it’s going to be pretty close Honestly, I think it will come down to very minimal seconds.”

Chris Kreider, Adrian Kempe, Kyle Connor, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jordan Kyrou complete the field.

(Photo by Del Mecum/Cal Sport Media via AP Images)

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