Today's NHL features some of the hardest shooting players to have ever taken to a sheet of ice.
Since the early days of hockey, the slap shot has been one of the most tantalizing and effective tools in the scorer's tool belt. With the advent of lighter sticks and advancement in the technology that allows a stick greater "flex" before firing, there's never been a better time to be a slap-shot devotee.
Every year it seems like players are getting bigger and that sticks are becoming more and more lightweight, and breaking previously standing speed records now seems like a yearly tradition at the All-Star Game.
The number of players that can fire a puck over 100 mph has ballooned over the last decade or so, but that doesn't mean that some guys still don't have a bit more of a whammy factor when it comes to their slap shot.
Jason Spezza could very well be one of the most underrated shooters in the NHL. Known throughout his career as an outstanding passer with above-average hockey IQ, the longtime Ottawa Senator can crank a slap shot as hard as just about anyone when the opportunity arises.
He is a member of the 100 mph club, having registered a 100.5 at the 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition according to NHL.com.
Possessing a shot like that makes passing just a touch easier, as defenders have to at least respect the possibility of a quick and accurate slap shot when dealing with Spezza.
Another underrated shooter, Daniel Alfredsson is capable of catching defenders and goaltenders off guard when he decides to wind up for the slap shot. The velocity is there, but it's accuracy that really makes the new Detroit Red Wing's slapper stand out.
While he doesn't use this weapon particularly often, when the opportunity is there for Alfie to get a little something extra on a shot, he's very capable of producing results that break the 100 mph barrier.
He did just that during the 2012 NHL All-Star Game according to NHL.com, when he recorded a 101.3 mph slap shot.
Typically known as a setup man, Vincent Lecavalier possesses one of the hardest shots in the NHL when he decides to let it fly. He uses every last bit of his 6'4'' frame to get behind the puck, and he showed at the 2008 All-Star game that he's capable of cracking the century mark.
He was clocked at 101.9 mph during the hardest shot completion at that All-Star Game and has shown that kind of impressive shooting in game situations as well.
Journeyman defenseman Adrian Aucoin has scored more than 120 goals during his 19-year career, and it's easy to see why. He's been firing 100 mph slap shots since entering the league in 1994, and he's only increased his velocity as stick technology has improved.
Aucoin has taken his talents to seven different NHL franchises during his career, and a big reason for his longevity is his ability to shoot the puck from the blue line.
His career may be winding down, but Aucoin will still one of the hardest shooters in the league until he officially announces retirement.
Gregory Campbell proved that he was one of the most legit bad asses in all of professional sports when he continued to kill a penalty after sustaining a broken leg. Lost in the hoopla of the toughness that Campbell exhibited was the fact that Evgeni Malkin actually shot the puck hard enough to shatter human bone in the first place.
Not to make light of the injury that Campbell endured, but slap shots don't get much more wicked than that.
Malkin doesn't always break out the slap shot, but when he does, he does not mess around.
Few active NHL players can launch bombs as hard and as frequently as Sheldon Souray. He's made a career out of his fade-away slapper and been one of the most lethal power play quarterbacks for the better part of a decade.
He's not afraid to shoot through traffic, making the play all the more frightening for defenders and forwards alike. Souray has injured more than one shot blocker in his day and buried his fair share of slap-shot goals as well.
Exploding onto the NHL scene in 2005 with a 52-goal, 106-point rookie season, Alexander Ovechkin proved right from the get-go that he doesn't mess around when it comes to slap shots.
It took defenses three or four years to figure out how to limit his one-timers from the top of the left circle—still one of the deadliest shots in all of hockey.
A move to the right wing in 2013 revived AO's goal-scoring prowess, and he was right back to ripping slap shots and one-timers at any given opportunity. The velocity of Ovechkin's shot is evident every time he takes it, and there's a great deal of crowd anticipation every time he winds up.
Alexander Ovechkin was the king of the one timer until Steven Stamkos entered the league. Now the two are neck in neck when it comes to deadly shots off of the pass. One of the most prolific and entertaining goal-scorers in the NHL right now, Stamkos goes to his slap shot frequently.
His slapper has been clocked at 104 mph—a remarkable feat for a guy that stands at only 6'1''. Stamkos has a flawless form and a lot of muscle to boot and can crank slap shots harder than just about anyone else in the league because of it.
While he's not the reigning hardest shooter in the NHL, few players have done more awesome things with the slap shot than Shea Weber. Take, for instance, the above video where he actually manages to shoot the puck through the net.
Something straight out of a Mighty Ducks movie, no?
The only player to ever push Zdeno Chara to the limit, Weber was the hardest shooting player in the world for all of two minutes during the 2013 hardest shot competition. According to NHL.com, he managed to hit the 106 mph mark before Chara turned around and retained his NHL record.
No surprise here.
No one in the NHL can fire the puck harder than Zdeno Chara. He's been the owner of the hardest-shot record for several years now and refuses to relinquish that title.
What makes Chara's slap shot so scary is that he's capable of shattering the 100 mph mark during games. Some folks feel that the hardest shot competition is only a shooting gallery, and reaching top speeds during the event isn't tough.
Chara launches his slap shot through traffic with brilliant frequency, and few players in the NHL can squeak a puck through traffic like him.