Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the gamers who’re controlling substantial buzz across the league. When a participant is included on this record it will not be factor — it implies that they’re capturing a considerable amount of the hockey world’s consideration.
These gamers are in no explicit order on the subject of the quantity of buzz that they are creating. We’ll revisit the Star Power Index each week all through the common season.
Connor McDavid could personal the moniker of being the game’s prime participant, however Leon Draisaitl has been simply as important to the Edmonton Oilers’ success this season.
Draisaitl ranks second within the NHL in factors (70) behind solely McDavid’s 84. While McDavid does lead the Oilers in targets (38) and assists (46), Draisaitl solely has two fewer assists than McDavid.
Much like McDavid, Draisaitl has been an absolute pressure on Edmonton’s power-play unit, which is changing an NHL-best 30.7 p.c of its alternatives on the yr. The 27-year-old star is second behind McDavid with 34 power-play factors (15 targets & 19 assists) and just lately showcased his worth in a 7-1 win over the San Jose Sharks final Friday.
In what was his 600th profession NHL recreation, Draisaitl registered a aim and two assists with each of these assists coming whereas the Oilers have been on the person benefit.
Draisaitl is presently using a four-game level streak and has recorded a number of factors in three of these contests. The Oilers star additionally has 4 targets throughout that stretch, which was highlighted by a two-goal efficiency in a 4-3 win in opposition to the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.
Considering how harmful Draisaitl and McDavid are, it is no marvel that the Oilers have been capable of get by means of a two-month interval by which Evander Kane was out of the lineup. Now Kane is again, and with how properly Draisaitl is enjoying, Edmonton continues to be hanging on within the playoff race on the season’s halfway level.
Matthew Tkachuk has acclimated fairly properly to his new environment in South Florida: he is presently on tempo for his second consecutive 100-point season.
Entering Thursday, Tkachuk had 56 factors and is on tempo 107 factors (42 targets & 65 assists) on the season. This comes only one season after the star winger registered a career-high 104 factors (42 targets & 62 assists) in his last yr as a member of the Calgary Flames.
Tkachuk has at all times had elite goal-scoring capacity, however he is develop into a facilitator. The Panthers ahead already has 34 assists to his credit score and is on tempo for a career-high 65 assists on the season. In Monday’s 4-1 win in opposition to the Buffalo Sabres, Tkachuk tied a season-high with three assists and earned the first help on every one. It marked his third consecutive recreation with not less than one help.
It’s solely the primary yr of the large Tkachuk/Jonathan Huberdeau commerce between the Flames and Panthers, however Florida has definitely gotten the higher finish of the deal up to now. Barring a totally stagnant second half, Tkachuk ought to notch his second consecutive 100-point marketing campaign.
The Norris Trophy race to crown the NHL’s prime defenseman continues to be vast open, however Adam Fox definitely is making a push for the distinction.
Fox, who gained the celebrated award in 2021, is quietly having one other spectacular season for the New York Rangers. The gifted blue-liner presently leads the staff in assists (36) and plus/minus (+19) whereas rating second in power-play assists (14) and third in factors (45). The 24-year-old star has been one of many greatest offensive producers for the Rangers, as he trails star ahead Artemi Panarin by simply two factors for the staff lead in that division.
However, the place Fox has actually thrived has been on the subject of establishing his teammates.
In January, Fox has registered eight assists, together with not less than one help in seven of his final eight video games. He’s additionally had six video games all through the 2022-23 season by which he is recorded a number of assists.
As spectacular as his help numbers have been, Fox just lately supplied some of the thrilling finishes of the NHL season up up to now. Last Thursday, teammate K’Andre Miller had tied the sport in opposition to the Dallas Stars in dramatic trend with just below a second to go in regulation. At the 1:16 mark of the additional time interval, there was a mad scramble in entrance of the Stars web. Panarin was capable of safe the unfastened puck, get it over to Fox, and Fox flipped a backhand shot previous Jake Oettinger, who was out of place.
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