June 10, 2023
NHL Star Power Index: Connor McDavid scores goals at a ridiculous pace, Jesper Bratt makes history

NHL Star Power Index: Connor McDavid scores goals at a ridiculous pace, Jesper Bratt makes history

Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly display of the players making waves in the league. If a player is on this list, that might not be a good thing – it means they’re getting a lot of attention from the hockey world.

These players are in no particular order when it comes to the amount of buzz they generate. We’ll be revisiting the Star Power Index every week during the regular season.

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We all know that Connor McDavid is one of the most gifted players in the NHL. Still, when he gets on a run like the one he’s on, it’s nothing short of impressive. In his last three games, McDavid has recorded an incredible six goals and five assists.

During that stretch, Oilers Star Center has scored at least three points in each of those contests. McDavid really rose to the occasion when he scored a hat trick and dished out an assist in a 6-5 comeback win over the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday.

The Oilers forward capped the hat trick with the kind of goal we’ve come to expect from him over the years. Defenseman Evan Bouchard was able to keep the puck in the zone and found McDavid on the other side of the ice. McDavid hit Jake McCabe with a great toe drag move and put the puck through Stalock’s five holes to score.

As if that wasn’t impressive enough, McDavid pulled off another three-point performance (one goal and two assists) in the weekend’s Battle of Alberta against the Calgary Flames. The Oilers star scored the deciding goal with a 10:58 left thanks to a careless error by Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom went for the puck behind the net, but it went right past him. McDavid waited on the boards and shot straight into the net before Markstrom even settled back into the crease. McDavid also assisted on teammate Zach Hyman’s crucial goal just three minutes later to give the Oilers a magnificent 3-2 win over their archrival.

McDavid just has an amazing ability to put the puck in the net when it seems like there’s no way to do it. He builds opposing defenses in a way few players can and he’s already playing at a ridiculous level in the first month of the season.

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New Jersey Devils winger Jesper Bratt made history in the team’s 5-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Bratt provided an assist against the Canucks, setting a franchise record for longest scoring streak at the start of a regular season. It was the 10th straight game in which Bratt has registered at least a point.

Bratt, 24, set up captain Nico Hischier’s first half-goal, which came into play at just 4:36, with a remarkable assist. He received the puck from teammate Jack Hughes, whipped a perfect cross-ice pass to Hischier, and Hischier tapped the puck into the net.

While he only has four goals, Bratt has shown phenomenal skill in New Jersey’s first ten games. In fact, Bratt is second in the NHL in assists (12) behind only Edmonton Oilers star Leon Draisaitl, who has 16 so far this year. He’s a big reason the Devils take the Metropolitan Division lead with 14 points.

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Don’t search now, but perhaps Erik Karlsson has found the fountain of youth.

The San Jose Sharks defenseman has been a relative disappointment since he was acquired by the franchise in 2018. However, Karlsson was on fire in the first month of the 2022-23 season with six goals and three assists in his last three games. Karlsson’s offensive prowess was showcased in San Jose’s 6-5 penalty shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. The 32-year-old vet scored his first hat-trick of his career, adding an assist despite the loss.

Karlsson scored all three of his goals with shots from the point against the Ducks. At 2:12 in the third period, the Sweden defender leveled the game when he fired a shot past Ducks goalie Anthony Stolarz after a feed from teammate Alexander Barbanov.

On Thursday, Karlsson currently leads the Sharks in points (15) and goals (9). Karlsson’s career peak in the goalscoring department came in the 2014/15 season when he scored 21 goals as a member of the Senators. In 12 games, Karlsson hits an incredible 28.1 percent of his shots. Of course, he won’t be able to keep up that pace, but it was impressive to see the elite defender play at such a high level once again.

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The Boston Bruins are dangerous – even more so now that forward Brad Marchand is back in the lineup.

However, star winger David Pastrnak has been a strong source of offensive production for the Bruins since the puck first dropped last month. Pastrnak is currently third in the NHL with 18 points, behind only Connor McDavid (22) and Leon Draisaitl (21). The 26-year-old star has scored at least a point in eight of his ten games so far this season. In three games last week, Pastrnak recorded two goals and four assists.

In fact, the Bruins star had just put on a four-game scoring streak in Boston’s 6-5 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Pastrnak has scored in seven of his ten games this year. Pastrnak has shown his playing skills to the fullest all season but lately his scoring acumen has shone. The Bruins winger showed off his sensational shot when he scored on last Thursday’s power play against the Red Wings.

Even without Marchand, this Bruins team showed just how dangerous they already were. If Pastrnak can continue to produce at the elite level, this is a group that will have a tough time in the Eastern Conference when the postseason hits.

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