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.
Connor McDavid continues to put together a season for the ages.
In Monday's 5-4 win over the Arizona Coyotes, McDavid tallied an assist on a first-period goal from teammate Zach Hyman and in doing so, reached the 140-point mark for the 2022-23 season. The Edmonton Oilers star became the 10th different player in NHL history to rack up 140 points in a single season and the first since Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux (161 points in 1995-96) to achieve the feat.
Quick work on the PP 💨 pic.twitter.com/41twlCrU5l— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) March 28, 2023
McDavid also became the seventh different player to score at least 60 goals and dish out at least 80 assists in a season. Lemieux was also the latest to reach that plateau.
Entering Thursday, McDavid's 140 points rank as the ninth-most in a single season in franchise history. The Oilers center trails Wayne Gretzky by nine points for the No. 8 spot on the list, which Gretzky achieved during the 1987-88 campaign.
McDavid's 143 points currently lead all of the NHL, and he has a sizable advantage on the likes of teammate Leon Draisaitl (116), Tampa Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov (104), Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak (98) and Florida Panthers forward Matthew Tkachuk (97).
McDavid is currently on pace for 156 points (66 goals, 90 assists). If that's what the Oilers star finishes with in the regular season, he will have recorded the 13th-most points in a single season in NHL history, while also passing Gretzky (who appears on the list multiple times) for the eighth-most in Oilers history.
The Minnesota Wild are fighting for first place atop the Central Division with the Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars as the regular season winds down. Star winger Matt Boldy is a reason why they're in that position.
On Monday, Boldy registered his third career hat trick to help the Wild defeat the Seattle Kraken, 5-1. Boldy scored his third goal just 50 seconds into the third period.
Don't really have words. 🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢🧢#mnwild pic.twitter.com/WiqSqKjyoq— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 28, 2023
It also marked the second hat trick for Boldy in his last six games, as he also tallied a three-goal performance in a 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals back on March 19. At just 21, it was a truly impressive accomplishment for Boldy. Only Marian Gaborik recorded more hat tricks (5) than Boldy at the age of 21 or younger in franchise history.
Over his last six contests, Boldy has scored a mind-boggling nine goals and has led the Wild to wins in five of those games. Boldy has also registered three multi-goal games during that stretch.
In just his second NHL season, Boldy has become a huge offensive producer for the Wild, especially in the second half of the season. As the Wild attempt to win the Central Division for the first time in franchise history, Boldy will have to continue to put the puck in the net if Minnesota wants to make that a reality.
There's very few teams that have been on more of a roll than the Los Angeles Kings as the final weeks of the regular season arrive. Prior to Tuesday's 2-1 loss at the hands of the Calgary Flames, the Kings were riding a 12-game point streak with only two losses during that span.
Kings forward Viktor Arvidsson has thrived during the team's stellar stretch. He's scored goals in four of his last six games, including in three of his last four contests. The Kings winger recently recorded back-to-back multi-goal games, which resulted in Kings' wins against the Winnipeg Jets and St. Louis Blues this past weekend.
In Sunday's 7-6 win against the Blues, Arvidsson scored both of his goals in the opening period.
3 points for Arvy and we're not even done with the 1st 🥵 pic.twitter.com/FK9Xr8HeEj— LA Kings (@LAKings) March 27, 2023
Before the first period was even complete, Arvidsson had registered three points after he also picked up an assist on another power-play goal courtesy of fellow winger Alex Iafallo.
Arvidsson currently ranks tied for first in power-play goals (9), third in goals (24), third in shots (202), fourth in points (53) and fifth in assists (29) when it comes to the Kings' stats. Since joining the Kings following a trade with the Predators in the 2021 offseason, Arvidsson has really become an offensive asset in Los Angeles.
It's almost as though Linus Ullmark wasn't met to encounter any type of adversity this season. The Boston Bruins goaltender continues to be a brick wall in net, and is playing some tremendous hockey as the Stanley Cup Playoffs get closer and closer.
In 45 games, Ullmark has tallied a 36-5-1 record in addition to a 1.92 goals-against-average, a .937 save percentage and two shutouts. To make those numbers even more impressive, Ullmark has allowed just one goal in each of his last three starts as the Bruins recently clinched the Atlantic Division title.
Over those last three starts, Ullmark has registered a mind-boggling .967 save percentage after stopping 87 of the last 90 shots that he's faced. Most recently, the 29-year-old keeper turned aside 21 of the 22 shots that were sent in his direction in a 2-1 loss against the Nashville Predators.
According to Money Puck, Ullmark owns a .966 save percentage when facing unblocked shots on the season. In addition, he has 319 puck freezes to his credit, so he's not allowing many second-chance opportunities when the opposing team has the puck in deep. It's obviously a foregone conclusion that Ullmark is likely going to win the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender in the league this season. That's not surprising when his goals-against-average has been under 2.00 for the duration of the campaign.