This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a pair of top centers on hot teams, Klefbom rolling in Edmonton, Forsberg out for a while, and the flavor of the month in early October now lacking fantasy spice.
First Liners (Risers)
Nathan MacKinnon, C, COL – The line of Gabriel Landeskog, MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen continues to excel, powered by the man in the middle. MacKinnon played a part in both of Colorado's goals Sunday, notching a goal and an assist, his seventh straight multiple-point effort. Up to 19 goals and 24 assists in 27 games, McKinnon is on pace to obliterate the career-high 97 points he tallied just last season.
Nicklas Backstrom, C, WAS – Backstrom has been Robin to Alexander Ovechkin's Batman for most of his career. Evgeny Kuznetsov assumed that role last season, but Backstrom is back with Ovie and on a roll. He notched his second career hat trick Friday, giving him seven goals and 19 points in 15 games over the last month.
Clayton Keller, RW, ARI – Selected seventh overall in 2016, Keller had a great rookie campaign, notching 23 goals and 42 assists. Because Keller plays in Arizona, he may not get the attention he deserves, but those in fantasy leagues know just how good he is. After a slow start to the season, where the 20-year-old phenom started out with just one point (an assist) through the first five games, Keller has notched eight goals and added nine assists in 20 contests.