Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will captain the Central Division team for the second straight year as he heads to St. Louis to take part in the 2020 NHL All-Star festivities.
Scoring two goals in the Avs' 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday, MacKinnon heads into the break as the NHL's third-leading scorer with 72 points (30 goals, 42 assists). He ranks fourth in the league with 30 goals and is the first Colorado player to produce three consecutive seasons of 30 or more tallies since Joe Sakic from 2003-04 to 2006-07.
This will be MacKinnon's fourth straight appearance in the showcase of the league's best. Despite being named captain last year, a minor injury forced him out of on-ice activities for the weekend. However, he still participated in the festivities and was an assistant to head coach Paul Maurice of the Winnipeg Jets for the Central Division, which lost to the Metropolitan in the final of the 3-on-3 tournament.
The other three fan-elected captains this year include the Boston Bruins' David Pastrnak (Atlantic), the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan) and the Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (Pacific). Ovechkin has previously announced that he will not participate at 2020 All-Star.
The weekend kicks off on Friday night with the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition, which features two new events as well as four classics from years past. In addition to the Fastest Skater, Save Streak, Accuracy Shooting and Hardest Shot challenges, the NHL has added the Elite Women's 3-on-3 game and Shooting Stars to the slate of competitions.
Saturday's All-Star Game will once again feature a three-game tournament, played in a 3-on-3 format, featuring a team from each of the NHL' four divisions.
NHL Skills will be televised live on NBCSN in the United States at 6 p.m. MT on Friday. The All-Star Game on Saturday will be broadcasted on NBC in the U.S. starting at 6 p.m. MT. CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports will have live coverage in Canada of each All-Star event.
The New Skills Events
The Elite Women's 3-on-3 presented by adidas will feature two teams--American All-Stars and Canadian All-Stars--each comprised of nine skaters and one goalie. There will be two, 10-minute periods with a running clock. All penalties will be "served" by awarding a penalty shot to the player fouled.
The NHL Shooting Stars skills event will feature 10 players--eight NHL All-Stars, and one American Elite Women's All-Star team member and one Canadian Elite Women's All-Star team member. The latter two players will be selected by a social media vote.
From elevated platform behind the goal, approximately 30 feet above the ice surface, players will shoot pucks at a variety of targets on the ice. Each target will have different point values. One at a time, each player will attempt seven shots and earn points for each target hit.