How Fast Do Hockey Players Skate?

How Fast Can Hockey Players Skate?

Embark on a journey into the heart-pounding world of hockey speed as we unravel the physics and athleticism behind the question that echoes through the rinks.

How fast do hockey players skate?

The average top speed for NHL hockey players is 22.1 mph for forwards and 21.5 mph for defensemen. In kilometers, that’s 35.5 km/h and 34.6 km/h respectively.

The fastest hockey players in the NHL can reach a top speed of 24 mph, or 39 km/h. This includes notoriously fast players such as Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid.

Read below to see the 10 fastest hockey players in the NHL. These metrics were recorded using official NHL Edge technology.

Who Is The Fastest Hockey Player?

Denis Gurianov of the Montreal Canadiens is the fastest NHL player since 2021, with a top speed of 24.6 mph (39.6 km/h).

He set this record on October 16th, 2021, in the 3rd period (17:33) against the Boston Bruins.

Gurianov is followed very closely by six-time-all-star and Stanley Cup champion, Nathan MacKinnon, with a top speed of 24.5 mph, or 39.5 km/h – only 0.06 mph behind Gurianov.

Most people’s go-to answer for the fastest hockey player in the NHL would be Nathan MacKinnon or Connor McDavid. And they’re not necessarily wrong. Both of them are among the top 10 fastest hockey players in the NHL.

Top 10 Fastest NHL Hockey Players – According To NHL Edge Technology:

PlayerTop Speed (mph)Top Speed (km/h)
Denis Gurianov24.639.6
Nathan MacKinnon24.539.4
Ryan Poehling24.339.1
Brayden Point24.339.0
Martin Fehervary24.239.0
Alex Formenton24.239.0
Kaiden Guhle24.238.9
Connor McDavid24.238.9
Luke Hughes24.238.9
Andreas Athanasiou24.138.9
10 Fastest NHL Hockey Players 2021~2023

Fastest Isn’t Necessarily The Best

When it comes to hockey, fastest doesn’t necessarily mean “the best.”

The majority of the records listed above were actually set by players when they didn’t have the puck on their stick – they were forechecking, backchecking, regrouping, etc.

And every hockey player knows that speed with the puck is much more impressive than speed without the puck.

Players like Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon are able to skate 24 mph with complete control of the puck, which is terrifying for any defender.

With that being said, the top 3 fastest hockey players with the puck in the NHL are likely:

  1. Nathan MacKinnon
  2. Brayden Point
  3. Connor McDavid

Who Is The Fastest Man On Ice Skates?

In 2022, Dutch speed skater Kjeld Nuis set the world record for the fastest man on ice skates. He reached a top speed of 64 mph (103 km/h).

That’s 40 mph faster than Connor McDavid.

He skated as fast as most cars on an interstate highway – absolutely crazy.

Check it out:


and that folks is how Kjeld Nuis smashed a 103km/h world record 💥 #redbull #givesyouwiiings #speedskating #worldrecord #wintersports

♬ original sound – Red Bull
Fastest Man On Skates – World Record

Nuis is a 3-time Olympic gold medalist and set the world record for fastest skater at the age of 32.

Nuis depended entirely on his personal strength during his endeavor, but he was able to find shelter from the wind by skating in a dome-like windbreak contraption that was being pulled by a car.

How Fast Did Connor McDavid Skate?

Connor McDavid allegedly reached a top speed of 25.4 mph (40.9 km/h) during a game against the Calgary Flames, but this remains somewhat unconfirmed.

NHL Edge, chip tracking technology only dates back to 2021, and so it is unknown whether the speed measurements put out by Sportsnet are entirely accurate.

See the clip below and decide for yourself whether it’s 25.4 mph or not:

Connor McDavid unofficial 25.41 mph top speed

25.4mph certainly does seem plausible for a player like McDavid.

He is, after all, the only player ever to win the Fastest Skater Award at the NHL All-Star Games, 3 years in a row.

Was Gretzky A Fast Skater?

Gretzky may not have been the flashiest skater in terms of speed, but his ability to outmaneuver opponents was second to none.

His strategic positioning, keen hockey sense, and unparalleled vision allowed him to control the game’s tempo without necessarily being the fastest player on the ice.

His style wasn’t so much blowing passed opponents like Nathan MacKinnon, but more a quick and controlled weaving through opponents.

In the end, while Gretzky might not have been the Usain Bolt of the hockey rink, his skating finesse, agility, and strategic brilliance made him a force to be reckoned with.

He didn’t have to be that fast on his skates because his hands and mind were lightyears ahead of the competition.





One response to “How Fast Can Hockey Players Skate?”

  1. temp mail Avatar

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