The NHL has released their three stars of last week, with Patrice Bergeron leading the way after his four-goal game against Carolina. Bergeron may not be as flashy as some of his contemporaries, but is undoubtedly still one of the very best players in the NHL. Brad Marchand, who played a big part in his linemate’s impressive performance, wasn’t surprised, telling Tim Rosenthal of Boston.com:
It’s pretty impressive.
I think winning the Olympics, winning the Cup, and him being Patrice Bergeron is above that.
Jonathan Bernier of the Colorado Avalanche and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins took home second and third respectively, after their own impressive weeks. With Semyon Varlamov battling injury, Bernier has stepped in marvelously for the Avalanche, who continue to fight for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Crosby was up to his old tricks with eight points in four games.
- Craig Button of TSN has released his post-World Junior draft rankings, and he won’t be moving Rasmus Dahlin out of the top spot anytime soon. Button calls the 17-year old defenseman “franchise-defining,” and isn’t the only one. Corey Pronman of The Athletic wrote earlier today that Dahlin is “one of the all-time best defense prospects.” While Arizona remains in last place and has the best shot at the first-overall pick, the Buffalo Sabres aren’t far off from taking that title themselves. Remember though, that even the worst team in the league is actually more likely to lose the lottery and move down at least one spot.
- Speaking of impressive defense prospects, Libor Hajek has been traded in the WHL, heading from the Saskatoon Blades to the Regina Pats in exchange for a package of players and draft picks. Regina is hosting the Memorial Cup this season, and is loading up for the tournament. Hajek, a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, was impressive at the World Juniors for the Czech Republic and will now join others like Josh Mahura (an Anaheim prospect who barely missed out on representing Canada) and Cale Fleury (a Montreal prospect who was acquired from Kootenay earlier this season) on an imposing blueline.