This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a handful of players in new locations — a new top-line center for the Blue Jackets, a hot winger in Montreal and a first-pair blueliner in the Arch City — a possible future No. 1 netminder in L.A. and Zib in a major slump.
First Liners (Risers)
Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA – Barkov is a center who plays a 200-foot game, excelling defensively as well as offensively. The 2013 second overall pick, Barkov finally took that major step forward in 2018-19, scoring 96 points in 82 games. He took a mild step back before the pandemic hit, posting "only" 62 points in 66 games. (Of course, that's when I had him in my home league.) This year, on another team, Barkov already had four markers and seven apples in nine games, looking like an MVP-type candidate. A free agent after next season at 26-years old, Barkov should see close to eight-figures a year in his next deal.
Jack Roslovic, C, CLM – I profiled Roslovic after he was traded to Winnipeg, as the move was expected to afford him top-six minutes. Now off COVID protocol, Roslovic is making the most of that opportunity, reaching the scoresheet in five consecutive games (two goals, including the game-winner Monday, and five assists). Centering Patrik Laine, who came with him to the Blue Jackets, and Cam Atkinson, Roslovic is primed for a breakout campaign, if he can keep that gig.
Conor Garland, RW, AZ