Coyotes’ Clayton Keller participates in NHL All-Star Fastest Skater event
Arizona Coyotes forward Clayton Keller skated in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater challenge at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Friday, finishing in last place with a time of 14.526.
The winner was Edmonton’s Connor McDavid, who won the event for the third year in a row with a time of 13.378. He beat Cam Atkinson (CBJ), Mathew Barzal (NYI), Jack Eichel (BUF), Miro Heiskanen (DAL), Keller (ARI), Elias Pettersson (VAN) and Kendall Coyne (US women’s national team).
The 20-year-old Keller is in his second full NHL season and already has himself an All-Star selection. For his career, Keller has 34 goals and 68 assists in 135 games for his career.
Other events in the skills competition included the Premier Passer, Save Streak, Hardest Shot, Puck Control and Accuracy Shooting. Keller was set to appear in the Save Streak competition as well, which highlights goalies but features the whole field of All-Star skaters.
The NHL describes the Bridgestone Fastest Skater challenge as follows:
Eight players will compete in the Enterprise NHL Fastest Skater. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.
When Keller was asked at the NHL All-Star media day on Thursday which event he’d like to participate in, Keller hinted at puck control or breakaways.
“I think I’d be down for anything,” he said. “Maybe something to do with handling the puck or breakaway of some sort. I don’t know, something like that would be pretty cool.”
Keller will also participate in the All-Star game itself, of course, which takes place on Saturday. He will represent the Coyotes for the Pacific Divison team, which features other stars like McDavid, Pettersson and San Jose’s Erik Karlsson. The game is played in a 3-on-3 tournament format.
“It’s really cool. I mean, 3-on-3 shows everyone’s skill and hockey IQ, so I’m really looking forward to it and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Keller said.