Hagelin, Greening, and Karlsson dominated the fastest skater event last year at the ASG.
Shocked he hasn't been mentioned more in this thread. I don't know if he's the fastest outright in a straight line, but I think he's the best overall skater in the league (and certainly in the conversation for fastest). I remember multiple occasions in games 6 and 7 of the Rangers/Sens series where when Hagelin had a step on the Ottawa defenders and thought 'he's gone', only to find that one of those defenders was Karrlson, who he couldn't shake (and Hagelin is bona fide elite speedy).
Have watched a few Blackhawk games this year, and Nick Leddy is one of the fastest defenseman I have ever seen. It seems like he can take the puck from his own blue line and be on a breakaway by the time he is on the opposing team's blue line.
The OP makes it clear the thread isn't about the best skater, and in a skating competition he's not the fastest on his own team.
It might depend on the competition. If you look at the above video from the fastest skater comp between Hagelin and Greening, you will notice that the major difference between them is that Hagelin takes the turns tighter. Hagelin and Greening were neck and neck in a straight line. If that's Karlsson instead Greening, he probably takes a tighter turn and maybe it's a different race. The rules of the race make a difference; if it's drag race on a huge frozen lake, I take Greening, if there are a bunch of turns involved, Karlsson probably beats him out.
Haven't seen any mention of Kovalchuk, hes pretty damn fast.
There was a time. Unfortunately it seems that time has passed. He's looked really slow since the end of last season. Just really struggles to get his stride going it seems, although i do believe he's had some kind of nagging back injury.