Sens winger Mike Hoffman got a small taste of NHL All-Star Weekend last year when he participated in the Skills Competition as a member of the Rookie Team. This season, however, he's making a strong case for your All-Star vote as a sophomore.
Leading the Sens in both goals and shots so far this season, Hoffman has been dazzling with both quantity and quality and is a mainstay on our Vine account and Sens TV game highlights. So to help sway your All-Star vote, here are 4 reasons you should send Mike Hoffman to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville...
1. His shot
Hoff's got an absolutely cannon. Every time he winds up, he swings for the fences.
Obviously this could be lethal should Hoffman be selected to participate in the Hardest Shot event at the Skills Competition (more on skills later) but having a massive slapshot has practical applications for the All-Star Game itself obviously.
I mean, even All-Star goalies are going to get out of the way of this:
2. His speed
He's the current reigning fastest skater on the team after torching the competition at last year's Sens Skills with a ridiculous time of 13.829 seconds (for reference his team's average time was 14.399 seconds).
"I got to do it in the AHL and I was here last year and did it so this was my third time," said Hoffman after last year's event. "It's more about technique and how you take the corners than it is how fast you are so it's a little bit of strategy in there."
Hoffman then got to show off his 'strategic wheels' at the 2015 NHL Skills Competition where he finished 2nd behind fellow rookie Jonathan Drouin with a blazing time of 13.163 seconds. For some reason the NHL altered the course to allow for a head-to-head race which also changed some of the race's dynamics. Players had to make tighter turns at each end and racers no longer got to choose which direction they wanted to turn forcing some players (like Mike Hoffman) to compete on their less preferred edge. Notice Hoffman's slight stumble on his final turn:
3. His hands
If he isn't hammering a shot by you or skating around you, Hoffman is probably dangling right through you. He's a wizard with the puck on his stick and if you aren't careful, he can make you look ridiculous while he looks so good:
4. His accuracy
While his slapshot tends to get all the praise, Hoffman has a deadly accurate release on his wrist shot as well. So good in fact, that he went a perfect 4-for-4 last December in the Sens Skills accuracy competition (along with fellow Team Phillips member Clarke MacArthur). Only one could represent their squad in the finals though.
"Hoffy went 4-for-4 too," said MacArthur after the event, "He kind of got scammed out of the whole deal. That's what you get when you're young."
Hoffman has picked his fair share of corners this season as well:
So it's time to do your part.
Head over to nhl.com/vote and help send Mike Hoffman to this year's NHL All-Star Game as a full participant. And while you're there, cast some votes for your other favourite Sens.