The NHL’s record for fastest skater was set in 1996 by Toronto Hall of Famer Mike Gartner with a time of 13.385.
When the record was set, Dylan Larkin wasn’t even born yet, but the 19-year-old took to the ice during last night’s NHL All Star Game Skills Competition and broke Gartner’s record, which had stood for 20 years, with a time of 13.172.
“I said I was going to give it all I had so I thought…why not just go for it,” said Larkin. “I didn’t even know I won until I looked and saw the scoreboard. I didn’t know what the record was. I was trying to skate as fast as I can. “I’ve never done a lap like that. I just gave it my best and then see what happened.”
Larkin earned the opportunity to skate a full lap around the rink in an attempt to break the record after having the best time in the head-to-head Fastest Skater challenge. The race track for the match-ups is the border of the rink split in half length-ways. The event also included Nashville’s Roman Josi, Columbus’ Brandon Saad, Colorado’s Matt Duchesne, Edmonton’s Taylor Hall, Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang and Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.
“I’ve always been a good skater,” Larkin said. “I started working out and my speed has kind of taken off. I’ve always had a pretty good first three steps.”
What’s perhaps more incredible is that Larkin broke the record even after taking a slight stumble as he rounded the second net.
“I was still going pretty fast,” Larkin said. “I was lucky I caught my footing. I don’t know if it was less than perfect. I gave it all I had.” Check out video below of Larkin’s record-breaking skate.