A pair of new competitions will make their debut Friday night in St. Louis as part of the NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition, with the best the women’s game has to offer in a 3-on-3 tournament and a shooting skills competition.
How to Watch NHL All-Star Skills Competition:
When: Friday, Jan. 24
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
The Elite Women’s 3-on-3 tournament will pit 10-women’s teams from the United States and Canada over two 10-minute periods with a running clock. Last season in San Jose, Kendall Coyne Schofield created a buzz with a blazing lap in the skills competition for fastest skater, finishing seventh in the eight-person field. The NHL has expanded its weekend festivities to include this tournament, while adding one American and one Canadian player to a 10-person team for the shooting competition.
Schofield is on the U.S. team as it renews its long-standing rivalry with Canada, albeit in a different format. The U.S. won the gold medal in the 2018 Olympics in Pyongyang, North Korea, beating Canada in a shootout after the teams played to a 2–2 tie after regulation and overtime.
Also on the U.S. team is Amanda Kessel, the younger sister of Arizona Coyotes forward Phil Kessel, and Hilary Knight. Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, who led the U.S. team with four goals in the Olympics, joins Alex Carpenter, Brianna Decker and Annie Pankowski in attack. Defenders Kacey Bellamy, Lee Stecklein and goaltender Alex Cavallini round out the squad. Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Cammi Granato will serve as coach.
Canada’s top players, who are currently part of a barnstorming tour following the fold of the CWHL, are also well-represented in St. Louis. Melodie Daoust, its top scorer from the Olympics, headlines the 10-women team along with three-time gold medalist Meghan Agosto. Rebecca Johnston, Marie Philip-Poulin and Sarah Nurse are also on the squad, which will be coached by fellow HOF inductee Jayna Hefford.
The 20 players selected for the two teams have won a combined 39 Olympic gold medals and 109 World Championship medals. For the Gatorade NHL Shooting Stars, one woman will be selected for each team via Twitter poll. This is the third straight season the NHL has included women as part of the All-Star skills competition, with Knight showcasing her skills in the shooting accuracy portion and narrowly missing out on winning the competition.
The standard four events for the men’s skills competition–fastest skater, save streak, accuracy shooting and hardest shot are all back–though the premier passer did not make the cut for this season. There is a clear youthful feel as 19 of the 44 players on the four rosters–broken down by division–are first-time All-Stars, and there is also plenty of star power with Edmonton Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane. Kane is the elder statesmen of the bunch as he makes his ninth All-Star appearance.
McDavid–who won fastest skater last year–and Draisaitl, who ranks 1–2 in the NHL in scoring, highlight the Pacific Division squad, while top goal-scorer David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins, will captain the Atlantic Division team. Kane, who registered his 1,000th career point Sunday, is on the Central Division team, and Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby headlines the Metropolitan Division roster.
The host city is well-represented on the Central Division team, as Stanley Cup winners Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron, Alex Pietrangelo and goaltender Jordan Binnington will represent the Blues.