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Skills Competition

Connor McDavid wins Fastest Skater

Oilers center completes course in 13.02 seconds

by Arpon Basu @ArponBasu / LNH.com Senior Managing Editor

LOS ANGELES -- Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid is considered by many to be the fastest skater in the NHL, and Saturday was his chance to prove it.

McDavid won the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater at the 2017 Coors Light NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Staples Center, completing the course with a time of 13.02 seconds to beat the time of 13.16 seconds posted by Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

McDavid then had an opportunity to break the record for the fastest lap ever set by Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin last year, a time of 13.172 seconds that Larkin achieved with the help of a running start from the blue line.

McDavid knew Larkin had that running start and wanted the same thing, but was told he had to start at a line drawn on the ice a few feet from the red line.

"I was definitely aware of that, that's why I wanted to try that to see if I could get that," McDavid said. "But no dice, I guess."

McDavid's time was 13.31 seconds, or 0.138 of a second slower than Larkin.

Video: Fastest Skater: McDavid shows his incredible speed

McDavid insisted he was still happy with his time and it didn't bother him he didn't get the same conditions as Larkin, but it was impossible not to sense that it bothered him a little bit.

"I was happy with that run, honestly," McDavid said. "Maybe if I had a running start or something like that … but [Larkin] deserves to be the fastest guy ever to do it. He's an unbelievable skater and he deserves it."

McDavid defeated Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche in his heat, and did so pretty easily by six-tenths of a second. MacKinnon is one of the fastest players in the NHL himself, but he couldn't quite keep up with McDavid.

"I feel like he was good off the hop and I was kind of sleeping," MacKinnon said. "It is what it is. He's not a bad guy to lose to."

The rest of the NHL All-Stars get to see McDavid's speed on a regular basis, but it was still impressive for them to watch what he did up close Saturday.

"I was sitting next to [St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir] Tarasenko while he was going and we were just saying that you can't really teach speed like that," Anaheim Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler said. "That's something that you're born with or you develop over time. That's not something that you can instill in somebody that doesn't have it. So a pretty natural talent and to be able to have a front row seat for that was pretty cool for me."

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