New York Islanders star Mat Barzal’s speed was on full display on Friday night during the NHL’s fastest skater competition.
— NBC Sports Hockey (@NBCSportsHockey) January 25, 2020
Not only did Barzal win, he nearly broke the competition’s all-time record. He finished just .003 seconds behind record-holder Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings, who posted a 13.172 time in 2016.
“I told Connor (McDavid) when we were out there, I don’t think I could have skated a better lap,” Barzal told the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis. “I don’t know if I can do it again.”
With the skating competition in the books, Barzal will next participate in Saturday’s NHL All-Star Game, which will take place at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
A native of Canada, Barzal played three seasons for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League before he was selected with the 16th overall pick of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Islanders.
This year marks the 22-year-old’s second career All-Star appearance.
This season Barzal has scored 17 goals and picked up 25 assists. He leads the Islanders with 42 points this season just ahead of Brock Nelson (38). He is also posting a career-high plus-three and averaging a career-best 19:28 minutes of ice time.
After the All-Star break, Barzal will look to lead the Islanders back to the postseason before becoming a restricted free agent at season’s end. New York is currently 29-15-5 with 63 points on the season, which has them in third place in the Metropolitan Division.
They’ll return to action on Saturday, Feb. 1, when they play host to the Vancouver Canucks at the Barclays Center (1 p.m. ET).