The 2022 NHL All-Star weekend will still be loaded with Capitals’ talent even without captain Alex Ovechkin. Forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson will both be performing in a skills competition on Friday night in Las Vegas.
Kuznetsov will be participating in the Fastest Skater contest on Friday night. He’ll have stiff competition, though, as Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid, who has won the contest three times, will line up against him. Here is the full list of participants:
It isn’t the first time a Capital will be in the Fastest Skater contest. In fact, Washington legend Peter Bondra won the award in 1997. Carl Hagelin won the award in 2012 when he was on the New York Rangers, among other players who have won the contest outside their time in D.C.
Joining Kuznetsov at All-Star weekend will be Wilson, who will try his hand at the Hardest Shot competition. Not as many players take part in that contest. Wilson is one of just four skaters who will try to walk away with the title. Ovechkin supplied the hardest shot in 2018 with a 101.3 mph slapper.
Though Kuznetsov and Wilson were not originally selected for the All-Star game, both will make the trek to Vegas. Kuznetsov will replace Rangers defenseman Adam Fox at All-Star weekend, while Wilson will take the place of Metropolitan Division captain Ovechkin, who is unable to make the trip as he remains in COVID-19 protocols.
Fans can catch all the action from the skills competitions beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday Night. The events will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and can be streamed live on ESPN+.
It’s Wilson’s first and Kuznetsov’s second trip to the star-studded weekend. They’ll try to bring some hardware back to the nation’s capital before the regular season resumes on Feb. 8 as Washington hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets at Capital One Arena.