The NHL has released their Three Stars for last week, and at the very top is a name familiar to individual awards. Leon Draisaitl has been named the first star of the week after racking up ten points in five games and jumping in front of teammate Connor McDavid in the league scoring race. Draisaitl not only is leading in overall points but is also tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league goal-scoring lead with ten in his first ten games. The 2020 Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner, Draisaitl now has 529 points through the first 488 games of his NHL career.
The other two spots belong to a pair of goaltenders who could potentially be teammates at next year’s Olympics. Jack Campbell and John Gibson receive the second and third honors respectively after near-perfect weeks. The Toronto Maple Leafs netminder went 3-0 with a .968 save percentage, stopping 92 of 95 shots against some tough competition, while Gibson allowed just a single goal on 63 shots, winning both his games last week. While not considered much of a candidate for the U.S. Olympic squad until recently, Campbell’s play so far has put him in that conversation. Across ten games, he leads all American netminders with a .936 save percentage.
- In 2019, Evgeny Kuznetsov received a four-year suspension from the IIHF after testing positive for cocaine at the World Championships. That would normally have meant he would not be eligible to play for Russia at the upcoming Olympics, but a report from RIA Novosti indicates that there is renewed hope that the suspension will be reduced and Kuznetsov will be able to play. Alexei Zhamnov, head coach of the Russian team, told Sport-Express that either tomorrow or the day after they should know more about Kuznetsov’s situation.
- Alexis Gravel, who was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2018, is leaving the ECHL to join the University of Quebec-Trois-Rivieres for the rest of this season. The 21-year-old netminder will be remembered fondly by Halifax Mooseheads fans, where he starred in the QMJHL and even took home a Memorial Cup Most Outstanding Goaltender award. Gravel did not sign an entry-level contract with the Blackhawks and is an unrestricted free agent. He posted an .863 save percentage in two appearances with the Allen Americans this season.