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Special Guests for the Skills Competition

This year, the NHL is going to have a few special guests for the All-Star Skills Competition, courtesy of the two top-level women’s leagues.

Olympics: Ice Hockey-Women Team Semifinal - USA-FIN Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

I don’t know exactly when the announcement was made, but this weekend will see a few of the best players in the two major women’s hockey leagues, the CWHL and NWHL, participate in the All-Star Skills Competition. In anticipation of their appearance, I figured it would be worth it for those of us who don’t see those two leagues play to get a bit of an idea what these players have done so far.

Rebecca Johnston (Forward - Calgary Inferno - CWHL)

Johnston has been a prolific point producer in the CWHL for years now. Prior to her pro career, she spent four years with Cornell University, scoring 188 points in 119 games. She played for the Toronto Furies during the 2012/13 season, and after spending one year out of the league, came back to the league with Calgary in 2014. Throughout her CWHL career, she has 122 points (48G, 74A) in 93 games. So far this season, she has 32 points (12G, 20A) in 21 games, just five short of a career-high. Last season, she didn’t compete in the CWHL, but notched five points (2G, 3A) in five games for Team Canada at the Olympics. She also added eight points in 16 games with that squad while competing in the Alberta Midget AAA league.

Renata Fast (Defence - Toronto Furies (CWHL)

Fast is the only defencewoman making a guest appearance from this bunch of players. Before going pro, she scored 57 points in 144 games for Clarkson University. Fast joined Johnston for Team Canada in AMHL play and at the Olympics last season. Not a big scorer, Fast has 15 points (6G, 9A) in 42 games across three seasons with the Furies. So far, she has six points (2G, 4A) in 19 games. She was pointless in five games at the Olympics.

Kendall Coyne Schofield - (Left Wing - Minnesota Whitecaps - NWHL)

Coyne Schofield is the only representative among this group of players from the NWHL. A newcomer to the league, she spent two seasons playing exclusively in international competitions, notching three points (2G, 1A) in 12 games for the gold-medal-winning Team USA at the Olympics. Prior to that she had a whopping 249 points in 133 games for Northeastern University, splitting up her four years with 2013/14 season spent focusing on the Sochi Olympics, with her latter two seasons spent as team captain. This season, she has 12 points (5G, 7A) in 11 games for the Whitecaps.

Brianna Decker (Centre - Calgary Inferno - CWHL)

Decker is unique on this list as a player with substantial experience in both the CWHL and NWHL. Before her pro career, Decker put up 244 points in 143 games for the University of Wisconsin, captaining them in her senior year. This season, Decker has 18 points (9G, 9A) in 17 games for the Calgary Inferno. In total, Decker has 50 points (25G, 25A) in 29 games across two CWHL seasons, her last stint in the CWHL being the 2014/15 season for the Boston Blades. She spent two seasons in the NWHL with the Boston Pride, tallying 60 points (28G, 32A) in 33 games as a member of the Boston Pride. She also notched three assists in five games for Team USA at the Olympics.

The All-Star Skills Competition is at 8PM Central Time on Friday, January 25.