Columbus, Ohio: Canada`s Olympic star Shea Weber blitzed the field in the hardest shot event Saturday as the National Hockey League`s all-star skills competition made a triumphant return after a two-year absence.
The 29-year-old Weber`s shot was clocked at 108.5 mph (175 kph) as he finished just a shade off the all-star record of 108.8 mph set by Zdeno Chara in 2012.
Nashville Predators defenseman Weber, who missed the net on his first attempt, easily beat runner-up Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals who finished with a 101.4 mph blast.
Weber helped lead Canada to a gold medal in the men`s ice hockey competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver games.
Slovakia`s Chara was not named to the 2015 NHL all-star game so was unable to defend his title.
The unofficial all-time record is held by Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull who took a slapshot that went 118.3 mph but that was measured back when the technology wasn`t as good.
Tampa Bay`s Steven Stamkos finished third at 98.8 while Chicago`s Brent Seabrook was fourth at 98.6. San Jose`s Brent Burns rounded out the top five at 97.3.
The all-star game is making a comeback this season after a two-year hiatus. There was no event last season because of the Olympics and in 2013 it was canceled due to a labor dispute which resulted in a lockout shortened season.
Jonathan Drouin, who was selected third overall by Tampa Bay in the 2013 NHL draft, won the fastest skater competition by recording a time of 13.10.
Chicago`s Patrick Kane was the quickest to destroy the four targets in the accuracy challenge with a time of 13.52 seconds.
The NHL all-star game takes place Sunday at Nationwide Arena, the home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.