TORONTO -- Connor Hellebuyck paused when asked what it will be like for the goalies in the 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook at Scotiabank Arena on Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS).

“Not sure why we’re needed,” the Winnipeg Jets goalie said with a grin.

True, the new format focuses on 12 skaters who will compete in multiple events, and the winner will receive $1 million.

But eight goalies will play a pivotal role in the competition, and the best will cash in too.

“I hear there’s 100 grand on the line,” Dallas Stars goalie Jake Oettinger said, smiling. “I’m getting married this summer. That’d be nice to pay for that. Yeah, so I’m probably going to stretch a little more than I would have, try not to pull anything, try not to end up on any highlights.”

Look, it’s All-Star Weekend. The emphasis, as usual, is on skating, passing, shooting and scoring. Not defense. Not saves.

The Skills event has been distilled to a dozen skaters.

We have J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson of the Vancouver Canucks.

We have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, and Auston Matthews and William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And we have Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins.

Learn more about the new format for the 2024 All-Star Skills Competition

Each of the 12 skaters will participate in four of the first six events: Fastenal NHL Fastest Skater, Rogers NHL Hardest Shot, Upper Deck NHL Stick Handling, Tim Hortons NHL One Timers, Scotiabank NHL Passing Challenge and Cheetos NHL Accuracy Shooting. First place will be worth five points, second place four points and so on.

The top eight skaters will advance to the seventh event: Honda/Hyundai NHL One-on-One.

Enter the eight goalies: Hellebuyck, Oettinger, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Florida Panthers, Thatcher Demko of the Canucks, Alexandar Georgiev of the Avalanche, Igor Shesterkin of the New York Rangers, Jeremy Swayman of the Bruins and Cam Talbot of the Los Angeles Kings.

From last place to first place, each skater will pick the goalie he wants to face. No skater can pick a goalie from his NHL team.

That’ll add spice, right?

“For sure,” Oettinger said. “I think if I get picked first, I’m going to want to stop him even more than I already would.”

No one should take it too personally, though. These are all All-Stars, after all.

“Maybe a guy has a move on a guy, or he knows him really well and just wants to go against a friend,” Hellebuyck said. “I think it’s going to be more things like that.”

Each skater will get a bunch of pucks in six designated spots and one minute to shoot on his chosen goalie. The first five pucks will be worth one point; each additional puck will be worth two points. The winners will be the skater with the most points and the goalie with the most saves.

“We’re not just Shooter Tutors,” Hellebuyck said. “I’m pretty excited now we can have a little competition. If we’re going to be here, we might as well show off our skills.”

The goalies will have a big impact on the final outcome of the Skills. In the One-on-One, first place will be worth five points, second place four points and so on. Two skaters will be eliminated.

“We’ve got really good hockey players,” Bobrovsky said. “They’re very skilled. Anybody can score; anybody can stop the puck. You look to have more fun, interact and enjoy everything around the hockey. Usually, you come to the rink, and you focus on one shot at a time, so here you can relax a little bit your attention and just enjoy the environment.”

The top six skaters will advance to the final event: Pepsi NHL Obstacle Course. That will include all the skills and be worth double the points.

“Obviously, when you take 12 of the best players in the entire world and put them into this and put that much money on the table, it’s going to be that much more intense this time around,” Talbot said. “I’ll just try not to pull anything.”

Oettinger called this a cool format.

“The NHL’s doing a great job,” he said. “As a hockey fan, I can’t wait to just sit back and watch these guys tomorrow. I think it’s going to be probably a format that they’re going to use down the road. I think it’s just a great way to get those guys to push themselves.”

So who’s going to win?

“It’s so hard,” Oettinger said. “It’s hard not to bet on McDavid, but we’ll see. Maybe Matthews, the hometown hero with the crowd support. I’m just excited to watch. They’re all going to do good, and hopefully I don’t get embarrassed.”