NHL All-Star Odds, Prediction: Will Auston Matthews Win the Hardest Shot and the Accuracy Shooting competitions?

Jordan Ramsay | Updated Feb 02, 2024

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks

Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews is looking to put on a show for the home crowd during NHL All-Star weekend.

The best player’s in the world are arriving in the Six for the 2024 NHL All-Star weekend. The Skills Competition will go down Saturday, with hometown favourite Auston Matthews sitting among the favourites to win the Accuracy Shooting and Hardest Shot compeitions.

Let’s take a look at the top contenders.

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2024 NHL All-Star Skills Competition

The NHL is mixing things up a bit for this year’s skills competition. Instead of individual winners for each event, 12 players will compete in multiple events to crown an overall winner, with a $1 million grand prize. Each player will compete in four of six events (Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Stick Handling, One Timers, Passing Challenge and Accuracy Shooting), with a point system based on the results. The top eight players advance to the One-on-One Shootout. The last six players standing will compete in the final event, the Obstacle Course.

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The goal of the Accuracy Shooting challenge is to hit the four designated targets in the four corners of the goal in the fastest time, with last year introducing a new knockout-style format. The Hardest Shot competition is arguably the most anticipated event, with the winner clocking a shot speed of over 100 mph every year since 2004.

2024 NHL All-Star Accuracy Shooting

The favourites for the Accuracy Shooting competition are Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are all listed at +600 to win. McDavid went a perfect 8-for-8 last year, but didn’t make it out of the semifinals because of a slower time. Draisaitl competed in the event in 2022 before the knockout-style was introduced, finishing with the fourth fastest time. Pastrnak actually won the event in 2019, hitting the four targets in 11.309 seconds. Kucherov also competed in 2019, finishing with a time of 19.706 seconds.

Prediction: William Nylander at +800. I’m ignoring the favourites and going with the hometown kid in his first career NHL All-Star appearance. Sure, Willy Styles has been cold heading into the All-Star break, but this is a player who loves a big stage. What stage is bigger than All-Star weekend in Toronto? Nylander can rip it with the best of them.

2024 NHL All-Star Hardest Shot

Gone are the days of the rugged defenceman dominating this event as last year’s winner was Vancouver Canucks sniper Elias Pettersson, who became just the fourth forward to win since the competition began in 1990. Pettersson’s shot was clocked at 103.2 mph, the second-hardest shot since Shea Weber hit 108.1 mph in 2016. All of the players in this event are obviously elite, skilled superstars, but none of them are really known for relying heavily on their slap shot. That’s why I’m going with:

Prediction: Auston Matthews at +550. I’m sticking with the hometown theme with this one and it doesn’t hurt that he offers the second-best payout behind Pastrnak at +600. You don’t really see a lot of emotion out of Matthews, but I think he’ll be motivated this weekend, especially if his teammate Nylander wins the Accuracy Shooting competition.

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