Hockey sticks aren’t supposed to bend this much.
Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson won the Hardest Shot challenge in the NHL Skills Competition on Friday night. The small Vancouver winger beat out previous winner Alex Ovechkin among other competitors.
Pettersson’s winning shot clocked in at 103.2 MPH. The Swedish native put all of his 6’2″, 174 lbs frame into the shot to win the event. The flex he got on the shot was simply remarkable.
Here’s Pettersson unloading a 103.2 MPH slap shot to win the NHL’s Hardest Shot competition:
Elias "Hardest Shot Winner" Pettersson. pic.twitter.com/G49jxgibhx
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) February 4, 2023
ESPN showed a great replay highlighting just how much flex Pettersson got on the shot.
The next hardest shot in the competition came courtesy of Buffalo’s Rasmus Dahlin, who clocked in at 102.3 MPH. Pettersson edged him out by just a hair. Neither player, however, came close to beating Boston’s Zdeno Chara’s all-time record of 108.8 MPH.
Pettersson told ESPN he was aiming to beat his personal record at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, when he clocked in at 102.6 MPH. Safe to say Pettersson accomplished his mission.
ESPN commentator P.K. Subban asked Pettersson how he was able to get so much power on his shot Friday.
“I lay all my weight into it, so…yeah, Pettersson told Subban.
Pettersson also spoke with the NHL Network, who asked him about competing with Ovechkin. Petey said he enjoyed going up against Ovechkin in the competition but didn’t feel too much pressure. “He’s probably gonna break [Gretzky’s] record”, Pettersson said.
Pettersson has been one of the lone bright spots for the Canucks this season, notching 21 goals and 58 points in 47 games. Pettersson’s teammate Bo Horvat attended the event wearing a New York Islanders jersey following a trade out of Vancouver on Tuesday. Even though he’s now in the Eastern Conference, Horvat still played for the Pacific Division.
This is only a little bit awkward…
— Tommy (@tommykippes2) February 4, 2023
With the winning shot, Pettersson becomes just the fourth forward in NHL history to win the Hardest Shot Competition. Defensemen have typically dominated this event, as Ovechkin, Sergei Federov, Frederik Modin and now Pettersson are the only forwards to win the hardest shot.
Pettersson will be back in action Saturday when he suits up for the Pacific Division in the 2023 NHL All-Star Game. After surprising with a booming slap-shot Friday, we’re eager to see what Petey has in store for fans Saturday.