Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson knew he had big skates to fill as he took captain Alex Ovechkin’s place in the 2022 NHL All-Star Game and in the hardest shot contest, where Ovi won in 2018. So he turned to Vegas Golden Knights forward Jack Eichel — as well as the Vegas Golden Knights equipment staff — for help.
Wilson usually goes with the Bauer Supreme Ultrasonic stick with an 87 flex. However, for the hardest shot, the 6-4, 220-pound forward wanted to use a higher flex. The higher the flex, the harder it is to bend the stick, and in turn, this adds more power to a slap shot. So, he tracked down one of Eichel’s sticks in Vegas that has a 102 flex.
Steven Stamkos asked No. 43 and asked about his selection, and Wilson explained that the stick actually belong to Eichel, Eichel, who was recently traded to the Golden Knights in a deal for Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, among other pieces.
“He uses 102, Eichs?” Stamkos asked.
“I guess, or Vegas has a few of them for some reason,” Wilson explained.
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Ultimately, it worked out, as Wilson was able to hit the century mark and reach 101.1 MPH on his second attempt. He finished third in the hardest shot at the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Victor Hedman won with a 103.2 MPH slapper.
This isn’t the first time Wilson has used Eichel’s stick. Back in 2016, Wilson used to have one of the former Sabres captain’s sticks in his arsenal.
The 27-year-old had a strong showing at the All-Star Game, making history with the fastest goal ever in the ASG since it switched to the 3-on-3 tournament. Evgeny Kuznetsov had the primary assist on Wilson’s goal, which came just 13 seconds into the contest.
In the end, the Metropolitan Division won the All-Star Game with wins over the Pacific and Central. Wilson had a lone goal in the tournament while Kuznetsov had a goal and assist.