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.
The St. Lous Blues underachieved out of the gate, but are beginning to climb in the Central Division standings. A good amount of the team's recent success can be attributed to the sensational play of center Jordan Kyrou.
Over his last three games, Kyrou has been on an absolute tear to say the least. The 24-year old has tallied six goals and three assists during the Blues' recent four-game winning streak.
Kyrou's most dominant performance came against the Vancouver Canucks in a 5-1 victory, which wrapped up the Blues' three-game road trip throughout Western Canada.. In that contest, Kyrou registered his first career hat trick as well as adding an assist to pace the Blues.
The 2016 second round pick's six goals were the most ever by a Blues player during a three-game road trip. The previous Blues' top marks were Brett Hull (five goals from Feb. 12-17, 1991) and Brad Boyes (five goals from March 8-11, 2008).
Kyrou's ascent has accelerated over the past two seasons. His first full NHL season during the 2020-21 campaign produced a solid 35-point showing (14 goals, 21 assists). The star forward is followed that up with a career-best 75 points last season (27 goals, 48 assists), which included a four-point performance in last season's Winter Classic and his first All-Star Game appearance.
The Blues star did miss Tuesday's contest against the Seattle Kraken due to an upper-body injury. Assuming that he doesn't miss too much time, Kyrou is currently on pace for 84 points this season. Setting career-highs in back-to-back seasons would show why the Blues signed him to a eight-year, $65 million contract extension in September.
After missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the past five seasons, the Ottawa Senators swung for the fences over the summer in an effort to improve their roster. It ended up being a mission accomplished as the team added forwards Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux to pair with a budding group of young talent.
With top-line center Josh Norris out of the lineup for the majority of the 2022-23 season thus far, DeBrincat has risen to the occasion and been a stabilizing playmaker for the Senators.
While he hasn't been lighting the lamp, DeBrincat has been on the score sheet often, with seven assists across Ottawa's past four games. The star winger, who was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in a draft night trade, has also produced two separate three-assist outings during that stretch.
In Saturday's 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, DeBrincat tallied three assists while also registering four shots-on-goal in 18:40 of ice time. The talented forward even earned the primary assists on two of those helpers.
There's no denying how gifted DeBrincat is as a playmaker in general, but his value on the power play can't be overstated. The former second round pick is currently tied for fourth in power-play assists (14) with the Canucks' Quinn Hughes.
Late in the first period against the Red Wings, DeBrincat showcased his playmaking brilliance. He missed out on an opportunity to rip a shot on net during the man-advantage. However, DeBrincat was able to go corral the loose puck and immediately got it back out to the blue-line to defenseman Thomas Chabot. Chabot ended up sending a scorching one-timer past Red Wings netminder Ville Husso to tie the game at 2-2.
DeBrincat always seems as though he's a few steps ahead of the defense when he's on the ice.
Since coming to Ottawa, DeBrincat's goal-scoring numbers are a little bit down -- the 25-year old tallied 73 goals over his last two full seasons as a member of the Blackhawks. However, it's also worth noting that the Senators have a tremendous amount of scoring depth with Claude Giroux, Brady Tkachuk, Drake Batherson, Tim Stutzle, and Shane Pinto all registering double-digit goals already this season.
DeBrincat's skills as a facilitator have been huge for a Senators team that is finally attempting to make a climb in the Eastern Conference Wild Card standings after a rough start.
Entering Thursday, Ullmark ranks first in wins (18), goals-against-average (1.89), and save percentage (.937) while being tied for second in shutouts (2). Ullmark is also one of just three goalies in the league with a sub 2.00 goals-against-average.
To put into perspective how dominant Ullmark has been, he's only surrendered more than three goals in one game this season. In December, the 29-year old has racked up a 5-0-0 record to go along with a 1.63 goals-against-average and a .943 save percentage. Ullmark also recorded a 23-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche earlier this month.
The run that Ullmark is enjoying is out of this world. He hasn't lost a start since Nov. 5, which was a 2-1 regulation decision at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Even when Ullmark actually needs a break, the Bruins have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the goaltender position. Backup Jeremy Swayman has compiled a 2.30 goals-against-average over the course of his three-year NHL career, so Boston can depend on the 24-year old whenever Ullmark requires a breather.
It won't be a surprise if Ullmark doesn't keep up this insane pace throughout the entire season. However, while he's playing behind a team that ranks second in the NHL with 3.90 goals-per-game, his stellar play certainly can't be understated thus far.
Multi-point games are beginning to become a habit for Elias Lindholm. However, one of his most recent performances was one for the ages.
After the Flames won the face-off, Jonathan Huberdeau returned to the ice after serving a penalty and Nazem Kadri quickly noticed Huberdeau entering the offensive zone. Huberdeau then delivered a picture-perfect pass to Lindholm across the ice and Lindholm tapped it home past Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
Just 19 seconds later, Lindholm had another pass put right on the tape of his stick. Following Calgary keeping the puck in the zone, Rasmus Andersson delivered a beautiful slap pass to Lindholm, who roofed the shot past Kahkonen for the goal.
With the two quick goals, Lindholm tied Bob Murray for the eighth-fastest two-goal stretch by one player to begin a period in NHL history. The most recent skater to score two faster period-beginning goals was former Boston Bruins forward Mike Knuble, who did it in the first 27 seconds of the first period on Feb. 14, 2003.
Over his last three games, the Flames center has registered two goals and six assists, including a three-assist performance in Tuesday's 7-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in the second half of a back-to-back.
After a slow start to the season, Lindholm has picked it up as of late with 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) during the month of December. As the Flames try to climb back into the Pacific Division race, Lindholm's presence has lifted the team.