NHL Barometer: Risers and Fallers

NHL Barometer: Risers and Fallers

This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.

This week's article includes Columbus' captain, young wingers in Nashville and San Jose, a bad mama Camma, Vasi's back and his replacement heads to the bench and a pair of doused Flames. 

First Liners (Risers)

Boone Jenner, C, CLM – Jenner was profiled a little over a month ago. His performance since then, especially lately, warrants another mention. Jenner lit the lamp in three straight games this past week, upping his season mark to 11 goals. One downside to his game is lack of assists, as he had just three on the year in his first 22 games, though he potted a pair of helpers Monday. As long as he remains on the top line, look for Jenner to eventually pad his apple total. The offensive production may be coming at the expense of hits, as he seems to be tempering his physical game, notching just 33 hits after posting 129 in 68 games last year. 

Brayden Point, C, TB – Point was one of several Lightning who had monster games Friday. He notched a hat trick and added a pair of assists in the team's win. Point has been on fire lately, posting five goals, 11 points and a plus-5 rating across the past five outings. He has turned in nine goals (including two hat tricks) and 19 points in 12 games during the month of November, giving him 29 points in 21 games for the season. After tallying a career-high 95 points last season, Point

This week's article includes Columbus' captain, young wingers in Nashville and San Jose, a bad mama Camma, Vasi's back and his replacement heads to the bench and a pair of doused Flames. 

First Liners (Risers)

Boone Jenner, C, CLM – Jenner was profiled a little over a month ago. His performance since then, especially lately, warrants another mention. Jenner lit the lamp in three straight games this past week, upping his season mark to 11 goals. One downside to his game is lack of assists, as he had just three on the year in his first 22 games, though he potted a pair of helpers Monday. As long as he remains on the top line, look for Jenner to eventually pad his apple total. The offensive production may be coming at the expense of hits, as he seems to be tempering his physical game, notching just 33 hits after posting 129 in 68 games last year. 

Brayden Point, C, TB – Point was one of several Lightning who had monster games Friday. He notched a hat trick and added a pair of assists in the team's win. Point has been on fire lately, posting five goals, 11 points and a plus-5 rating across the past five outings. He has turned in nine goals (including two hat tricks) and 19 points in 12 games during the month of November, giving him 29 points in 21 games for the season. After tallying a career-high 95 points last season, Point is on early pace to exceed the 100-point barrier for the first time in his career.

Nikolaj Ehlers, RW, WPG – Ehlers has found his game recently, posting four goals and two assists with a plus-6 rating over his last seven games. Injuries have wreaked havoc on the last few seasons for Ehlers, cutting short what could have been monster campaign in 2021-22 when he tallied 55 points in 62 games. Ehlers is skating on the second line both at even-strength and on the man-advantage, which should enable to maintain a solid level of production, as long as he can stay healthy. 

Luke Evangelista, RW, NAS – Evangelista made his NHL debut at the end of February and proceeded to post seven goals and eight assists over 24 contests to close out 2022-23. He opened this season with the parent club and is showing his end of year output last year was no fluke. Evangelista has three goals and nine assists in 19 games, with all his production coming his last 15 games. He is skating on the second line at even strength but manning a point spot on the top power-play unit, which should aid his future output. 

Radko Gudas, D, ANA – Gudas and scoring are normally not words that go together, but he has been red-hot this month. The defenseman has three goals and three helpers over 12 contests this month, accounting for all but one of his points through 20 outings overall. Gudas has added 58 hits, 47 blocked shots, 37 PIM, 27 shots on net and a plus-7 rating while averaging 18:52 of ice time, his most since 2016-17. Enjoy the uptick in production from someone who was likely drafted for hits and blocked shots. 

Tyler Myers, D, VAN – The scoring bug seems to have hit almost everyone in Vancouver, as even Myers is getting in on the action. He's racked up five helpers over his last eight games, giving him 10 points in 22 games. After initially starting the season in a reduced role, Myers has exceeded 20 minutes of ice time in five of his last 11 games, covering the absence of Carson Soucy (lower body), who is on long-term injured reserve. Myers should continue to benefit from the talent in front of him. 

Cam Talbot, G, LA – Talbot is likely playing over his head, as his 2.02 goals-against average and .931 save percentage are second only to the magical run he had with the New York Rangers in 2013-14. Those stellar numbers between the pipes have resulted in Talbot goings 10-3-1, with those 10 wins second only to Alexandar Georgiev of the Avs, who has 12. As Talbot and the Kings have shown no signs of slowing down, roll with him in your lineup each time he is between the pipes. 

Adin Hill, G, LV – The beat continues to roll on for Hill. He has four wins and an overtime loss in seven starts in November, allowing just 13 goals in those outings. For the season, Hill is 9-2-2 with a 1.96 GAA and a .933 save percentage through 13 appearances. He has shown that last year's Cup run was no fluke and that he was more than deserving of the two-year, $9.8 million contract extension he signed with the Golden Knights in June. Logan Thompson is a solid backup and could grab some additional time between the pipes, but Hill is the clear No. 1 netminder in the Desert. 

Others include Brock Nelson, Marco Rossi, Anze Kopitar, J.T. Compher, Juraj Slafkovsky, Alexander Holtz, Tim Stutzle, Yegor Sharangovich, Chris Kreider, Drake Batherson, Lawson Crouse, John-Jason Peterka, Zach Werenski, Filip Hronek, Evan Bouchard, Cale Makar, Thatcher Demko, Connor Hellebuyck, Igor Shesterkin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Buy Low

William Eklund, LW, SJ – The Sharks are struggling to score, but they do have a few nice young players as possible dartboard targets. Eklund is one of those players. Selected seventh overall in 2021, Eklund had his first multi-point NHL game Friday, in addition, three of his four goals so far have been on the power play, and four of his eight points have come with the man advantage. Add Eklund now as the Sharks will continue to showcase and utilize him in prime scoring opportunities. 

Training Room (Injuries)

Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, TB – Vasilevskiy made his season-debut Friday for the Lightning. The 29-year-old had been out all season after undergoing microdiscectomy surgery midway through training camp. Vasilevskiy, who is widely regarded as a top-three NHL goaltender, was 34-22-4 with a 2.65 GAA and .915 save percentage in 2022-23. He allowed two goals on 24 shots to notch the victory Friday and should see three quarters of the starts moving forward, though he may be eased into action the next few weeks. 

Others include Nico Hischier (upper body, missed 11 games, activated from injured reserve Saturday), Taylor Hall (knee, will need surgery, out for the year), Kaapo Kakko (lower body, injured Monday) Corey Perry (undisclosed, out for the foreseeable future), Bryan Rust (lower body, missed third straight game Saturday), Rasmus Ristolainen (lower body, activated from long-term injured reserve to make season-debut Saturday), Shea Theodore (upper body, placed on injured reserve Sunday), John Klingberg (undisclosed, placed on LTIR), Damon Severson (oblique, out six weeks) and Philipp Grubauer (undisclosed, traveled with the Kraken on the team's current road trip). 

Fourth Liners/Press Boxers (Fallers)

Mikael Backlund, C, CGY – The glass is either half-full or half-empty, depending on your view, with Backlund. As we noted in our update Friday, Backlund is a notorious slow starter, but he is up to nine points, 56 shots on net, 15 hits, six PIM and a plus-6 rating through 21 contests this season. That's right on track with how he started 2022-23, which saw him end with a career-best 56 points. That said, Backlund just snapped an eight-game point drought with his goal Friday, so we will need to see more before we can believe that last year's uptick in production was the norm. 

Calen Addison, D, SJ – Addison was treading water to a certain extent in Minnesota, despite seeing over four minutes a night in power play time on ice. The trade to San Jose was expected to reduce some of the shackles on his production, as the Sharks are in a different mindset than the Wild. This was not the case initially, as Addison had just two helpers in his first eight contests for San Jose after posting five apples in 12 games for Minnesota. Maybe the two apples he posted Saturday will jumpstart his production, though he was shut out Monday, so don't jump ship yet on Addison, but do slightly temper your expectations. 

Jonas Johansson, G, TB – All good (or quasi-good) things must come to end. We knew the return of Andrei Vasilevskiy was approaching, it was just a matter of when not of that would happen. That came Friday as Vasilevskiy took back his rightful spot between the pipes for the Lightning, notching a win. Johansson went 8-4-5 but with a 3.41 goals-against average and .894 save percentage. Tampa may ease Vasilevskiy back into action over the next few weeks, affording Johansson playing time in the near-term. But eventually Vasilevskiy should see the majority of the starts in net.

Others include Chandler Stephenson, T.J. Oshie, Andrei Kuzmenko (healthy scratch Friday, in lineup Tuesday), Torey Krug, Devon Levi, John Gibson and Filip Gustavsson

Sell High

Blake Coleman, RW, CGY – For the last five seasons, Coleman has scored between 31 and 38 points, so we have a good idea of his level. He has four goals and five assists over his last 11 outings, giving him 12 points in 21 contests for the year. Coleman is a solid third-line winger who will provide you over 100 hits but not one who normally should be counted on to score. Enjoy the uptick in production but be prepared to jettison Coleman to the waiver wire as soon as he hits a rough patch. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Levine
Levine covers baseball and hockey for RotoWire. He is responsible for the weekly NL FAAB column for baseball and the Barometer for hockey. In addition to his column writing, he is master of the NHL cheat sheets. In his spare time, he roots for the Mets and Rangers.
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