Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players who are controlling substantial buzz around the league. When a player is included on this list it may not be a good thing — it means that they are capturing a large amount of the hockey world’s attention.
These players are in no particular order when it comes to the amount of buzz that they’re creating. We’ll revisit the Star Power Index every week throughout the regular season.
Connor led all NHL goal scorers over his last three games with eight points (five goals and three assists) and helped propel the Jets to wins over the Nashville Predators and New Jersey Devils. Connor registered multiple goals in each of those two victories.
The Jets star registered his fifth career hat trick when he registered three goals and an assist in a 6-3 win against the Predators. In doing so, Connor passed Bryan Little for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time goals list.
In the win over the Predators, Connor also reached the 10-goal mark in the fewest amount of games (13). Only two players in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history have achieved that feat in 13 games or less. Ilya Kovalchuk scored 10 goals in his first eight games in 2003-04, and he also reached that number in nine games in 2009-10. Meanwhile, Marian Hossa tallied 10 goals in nine games during the 2006-07 season.
Connor also thrived offensively when the Jets earned a key 6-3 win against the Devils on Tuesday. The 26-year-old collected two goals and an assist in that contest.
Connor showed just how dangerous he was during a key sequence early in Tuesday’s game. The Jets forward received a pass from teammate Josh Morrissey and made his way toward the front of the net. While Devils goaltender Akira Schmid made the initial stop, Connor was able to snipe his own rebound into the back of the net to give the Jets a 1-0 lead.
The Jets star later scored on a power-play goal to cap off a stellar three-point outing.
No player is hotter right now than Connor. His sensational start has the Jets sitting in third place in the Central Division, and if this level of play continues, Winnipeg definitely could make a return trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2023-24.
Over his last three games, Pastrnak has tallied two goals and five assists with two multi-point games during that stretch. The 27-year-old has also scored goals in three of his last five contests.
Pastrnak currently leads the Bruins in points (24), goals (11), assists (13) and power-play assists (7), while scoring on 15.9 percent of shots.
Pastrnak registered a goal and two assists in Tuesday’s 5-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres, marking the 53rd three-point game of his career. That tied Pastrnak with Cam Neely for the 11th most three-point games in team history. In addition, the Bruins star also tied Neely for the seventh-most road goals in franchise history with 141.
The Bruins star has taken the league by storm this season as he is tied for second in points (24), while also being tied for third in goals (11). During Tuesday’s game against the Sabres, Pastrnak showed just how lethal he can be with the puck on his stick.
In the opening period, Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy carried the puck up the ice before dishing it off to teammate Pavel Zacha. Zacha then delivered a cross-ice pass to Pastrnak, and Pastrnak buried a scorching one-timer past Sabres goaltender Devon Levi on the power-play to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead.
Pastrnak has cemented himself as one of the more dangerous goal scorers the NHL has to offer. Months after completing a career-best 113-point season, Pastrnak is on pace for a 131-point season (60 goals and 71 assists). As he enters the prime of his career, Pastrnak is looking more polished than ever.
Reinhart has tallied points in five consecutive games and has led the Panthers to a five-game winning streak in the process. The Panthers forward registered a goal and an assist in a 5-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday. In doing so, Reinhart became the seventh player in franchise history to record multiple points in five or more games.
Over his last four games, no NHL player has tallied more points (10) than Reinhart has. During that span, Reinhart has found the back of the net on four occasions, including registering a pair of goals in a 4-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.
His performance against the Blackhawks has been his most impressive during this stretch. Reinhart recorded two goals and two assists in that game, and that proved to be just enough to keep the Panthers’ winning streak alive.
Reinhart reached the 10-goal mark in the second-fewest games in Panthers history. Only Pavel Bure achieved the feat in a quicker manner when it took him just nine games during the 1998-99 season. Reinhart also reached the 20-point mark in 14 games, tying a Panthers record Matthew Tkachuk (2022-23) and Jonathan Huberdeau (2020-21) had previously set.
After some struggles out the gate, the Panthers have rebounded to climb into second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Bruins. If Reinhart can continue to produce on the team’s top line, another run at the Stanley Cup certainly isn’t out of the question.
Quite a bit of criticism surrounded the Pittsburgh Penguins over the summer when the team decided to sign goaltender Tristan Jarry to a five-year, $26.875 million contract extension. However, Jarry has proved to be worth every penny lately as he helped lead the Penguins to a five-game winning streak.
Over his four starts in November, Jarry really rose to the occasion as he posted a 1.38 goals-against-average and a .955 save percentage. To make his recent run even more impressive, Jarry won all four of those starts.
According to Money Puck, Jarry also owns a .951 save percentage when facing unblocked shots this season.
Jarry’s 2.31 goals-against-average is tied for 11th in the NHL, and that’s with yielding at least four goals in three of his first six starts. The Penguins netminder is really starting to look comfortable in the crease and tallied back-to-back shutouts in wins against the Anaheim Ducks and Sabres.
Even though he surrendered three goals against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, Jarry was still able to turn aside 27 of those 30 shots to help lead the Penguins to their fifth-consecutive win.
Jarry’s biggest issue has been injuries in recent years. Aside from being struck by a puck against the Ducks, Jarry has been very healthy this season and is thriving. If that trend can continue, Jarry will be a very important piece of the puzzle for a Penguins team with Stanley Cup aspirations.