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Eichel places 3rd in Fastest Skater event at All-Star Skills Competition

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /


TAMPA - NHL All-Star Weekend is underway, and Jack Eichel got his feet wet early in Saturday's 2018 NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Amalie Arena.


Instagram from @buffalosabres: View: Instagram

The Sabres alternate captain, competing in his first skills competition, took part in the Fastest Skater event, which kicked off the evening. 

Going seventh out of eight, Eichel finished his heat in 13.828 seconds, just .249 seconds behind then-leader Brayden Point.

Looking back on his lap, Eichel said he would've tried a few things differently if given another opportunity.

"I tried to jump the gun. I wanted a good jump and I ended up kind of double taking. Your path is a big thing. I didn't really do any homework on it. You'd probably like to take the turns a little bit wider to keep your speed and I think I tried to cut it a little too tight, maybe. It worked against me. But it was fun. It was good."

Connor McDavid, the defending champion, was last to go and won the event with a time of 13.454 seconds. He also took home a cash prize of $25,000 (as the winner of each even did). 

Here are the full results:

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers - 13.454 seconds
Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning - 13.579 seconds
Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres - 13.828 seconds
Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche - 14.056 seconds
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks - 14.181 seconds
Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets - 14.250 seconds
Noah Hanifin, Carolina Hurricanes - 14.317 seconds
Josh Bailey, New York Islanders - 14.413 seconds

Eichel later took part in the Save Streak competition, which had goaltenders try to make as many consecutive breakaway saves as possible. To the tune of "Let It Go," Eichel and the Atlantic Division went up against Marc-Andre Fleury, where he hit the crossbar on his first attempt. 

With Fleury's streak at seven, Eichel's second attempt, a backhand, was stopped. Fleury ended up winning the event with 14 straight saves. 

"I don't know if it says more about him or the Atlantic Division's shootout skills," Eichel deadpanned. "You'd think that with some of the guys on our team, we'd be able to score, but he's an athletic goalie. He made some good saves and I'm happy to see him win."

He also had time for a selfie with some of his USA Hockey pals:

Instagram from @buffalosabres: #NHLAllStar with the boys! �� | via @jackeichel11

"It was a good experience just to be able to go out there and be with the guys," he said. "It was cool."

Eichel and the Atlantic Division will be back at it on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. for the 2018 NHL All-Star Game on NBC.

Video: EICHEL: After NHL All-Star Skills Competition

Meanwhile, Sabretooth has been crushing it this weekend:

Tweet from @BuffaloSabres: .@Sabretooth_NHL is ready! ��

Stay tuned to and our social media accounts for more from All-Star Weekend.



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