The NHL has released their three stars of the week, with Kyle Connor getting the top honors. The young Winnipeg Jets forward had five goals and eight points in four games, surpassing both of his impressive totals from last season. The 22-year old now has back-to-back 30-goal seasons, and is now a key part of the Jets attack on a nightly basis. While Patrik Laine may hit the headlines more for his upcoming restricted free agency, Connor’s pending negotiation looks to be just as (if not more) important.
Second star this week went to Steven Stamkos, who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning lock up the Presidents Trophy and became the franchise leader in goals with 387 and counting. The Lightning star is just one away from his fifth 40-goal campaign, and has six games remaining to try and crack the 100-point threshold for the first time in his career. Bringing up the rear in third was Philipp Grubauer, who has suddenly found his game and now holds a .914 save percentage on the year. That has allowed the Colorado Avalanche to climb back into the playoffs in the Western Conference.
- Despite Boston University seeing a huge chunk of their team turn pro today—Jake Oettinger, Chad Krys, Joel Farabee and Dante Fabbro all signed contracts—they won’t be without some star power next year. According to Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, Shane Bowers is likely sticking around after a somewhat disappointing sophomore season. Cole Hults from Penn State is also expected to stay in college according to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider, and the team is supportive of that idea. Hults, a fifth-round pick of the Kings in 2017, had 28 points in 39 games as a sophomore this season.
- The Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators have had a ton of turmoil over the last year, changing coaches and front office members while struggling on the ice. It’s not surprising that both teams may be looking for upper management help according to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, who reports each could be set to bring in a team president to run hockey operations above the general manager. Ottawa’s search in particular has apparently already been going on for a while, though it has not apparently put Pierre Dorion’s job as GM in jeopardy.