One of the most fascinating hockey skills is speed. Here are 6 of the fastest hockey players ever to skate in the NHL.
Hockey is a sport that demands many incredible skills of its players. Toughness, reaction speed, and being able to take a hit are just some of them. But one that often gets overlooked is speed. The NHL is home to some of the fastest skaters on the ice, and there are some players whose skill at moving a puck up and down the arena is jaw dropping.
While many players are merely fast on the ice, there aren’t that many who can sustain that speed while still maintaining pinpoint accuracy with the puck. One player who combined both and was the favorite with the bookmakers when it came to sport betting on NHL games was the “Russian Rocket,” Pavel Bure.
Dominating the leagues during the ’90s, the winger set the pace for the most goals three times in his amazing career, capping it with a total of 779 points in just over 700 games. It’s commonly thought that Bure would have scored even more if that era of hockey wasn’t ruled by neutral zone traps.
One of the fastest hockey players ever, Coffey became a legendary defenseman and is still arguably considered one of— if not the best—defensemen when it comes to playing offensively. His ability to single handedly work the puck up the ice was astounding.
Coffey’s pace and skill had enabled him to leave opposing defenders in the dust, simply looking on in awe in his wake. This skill led to him landing a record number of assists in his career—a whopping 1,135. And it is the sixth most in the history of the NHL, placing him at second for all-time assists among blueliners.
And his achievements don’t stop there. On his playing record, Coffey has bagged three Norris trophies; four Stanley Cups; played in over 10 All-Star games; and is known for scoring the most goals for a defenseman in a single season (among other accolades).
As a vital part of the Montreal Canadiens, a team that absolutely ruled the NHL back in the 1960s and ’70s, Cournoyer was feared for his crazy speed. It was this lightning pace that led to him earning the nickname “Roadrunner,” after the fast little Looney Tunes character.
Cournoyer played in the NHL for 16 seasons, becoming an integral part of 10 Stanley Cup-winning teams. Snagging the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP in the 1973 playoffs, he was the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy twice for being the league MVP. Cournoyer is considered a legend for the Montreal Canadiens.
Widely known as being one of the first Russians to make it over to the NHL, Fedorov was one of the best all-around players ever to participate in the sport. Fedorov had a physical presence that he would use, and wasn’t scared of mixing it up with other players when called for.
Fedorov could turn on a dime to defend, and he could shoot the puck with the best of them. To wrap it all up, he also had the speed to keep up with just about anyone in the game. Often playing end-to-end, he would simply zip past everyone and the next thing you knew the puck was in the back of the net.
Fedorov’s outstanding career lasted 18 seasons in the NHL, where he earned a Hart Memorial Trophy, three Stanley Cups, as well as two Selkes for being the best defensive forward. He was even selected for 6 All-Star games. When it comes to points and assists by Russian players, Federov tops the list and is often recognized as the NHL’s best Russian hockey player of all time.
While some may claim it was the unmistakable flow of blond hair that seemed to make Hull appear as if he was zipping across the ice, there’s no doubt he was fast. He became known as the “Golden Jet,” and his wicked slap shot was feared by just about every goalie in the league.
Hull loved to make full use of his ability on skates and jet across the ice, often taking the puck and burying it in the net all the way from his defensive zone single handedly. Winning the Art Ross Trophy three times as the top scorer in the league, as well as the Hart Trophy twice, his impressive NHL career spanned 16 years before moving to seven seasons in the WHA.
Arguably one of the best players on the ice at the moment, it’s no coincidence that McDavid is also one of the fastest. His ability to glide across the ice at unimaginable speeds while also maintaining precise control of the puck is pretty much unmatched. It’s very difficult to find another player quite like him.
What’s most interesting about McDavid is that, at the tender young age of 24 he’s just getting warmed up. In his short career, he’s already managed to win two Hart Trophies, three Art Ross Trophies, Four All-Star lineups, and three Ted Lindsay Awards.
McDavid is like a freight train in the league, almost completely unstoppable. Many predict that he may well compete with Wayne Gretzky—the GOAT himself—when he finally hangs up his skates.
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