ST. LOUIS--The National Hockey League has unveiled the player assignments for the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills on Friday night at Enterprise Center, and Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will take part in the Fastest Skater contest.
This is the third NHL skills competition that MacKinnon has participated in Fastest Skater after racing in both the 2017 and 2018 events. MacKinnon is at his fourth consecutive All-Star Game and second straight as the captain of the Central Division, but he was unable to take part in on-ice events last year while nursing a minor injury.
MacKinnon will be competing against Jack Eichel (Buffalo Sabres), Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers), Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders), Chris Kreider (New York Rangers), Anthony Duclair (Ottawa Senators), Travis Konecny (Philadelphia Flyers) and Quinn Hughes (Vancouver Canucks) in the speedy race.
The NHL Fastest Skater will consist of each of the eight skaters being timed on one full lap around the rink. The player gets to 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. They start on the referee's whistle, but the timing clock begins when the skater crosses the start line. The person with the fastest time is named the winner. If there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.
In addition to Fastest Skater, Save Streak, Accuracy Shooting and Hardest Shot return to the annual skills competition. There are two new events this year: Shooting Stars and the Elite Women's 3-on-3 game.
In Shooting Stars, 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--will be positioned on an elevated platform behind the goal, approximately 30 feet above the ice surface, where they will shoot pucks at a variety of targets located on the ice, with each target possessing different point values. One at a time, each player will attempt seven shots and earn points for each target hit.
The Elite Women's 3-on-3, presented by adidas, will consist of American and Canadian All-Star teams comprised of nine skaters and one goalie. The 3-on-3 game will entail two 10-minute periods, with a running clock. Teams will switch ends after the first period. All penalties will be "served" with a penalty shot being awarded to the player specifically fouled.
The 2020 NHL All-Star Skills begins at 6 p.m. MT at Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The competition will be televised nationally on NBCSN in the United States and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
Saturday's All-Star Game will once feature a three-game tournament played in 3-on-3. This is the fifth straight year of the format, and each NHL division will be competing for a $1 million winner-take-all prize pool. The games will be televised live at 6 p.m. MT on NBC in the U.S. and on CBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.