This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a solid rookie in Ottawa, a Finnish flash in the Rockies, the top man in net in Steel City, Carolina's No. 1 goalie close to returning and the Isles' big trade deadline acquisition last year scuffling.
First Liners (Risers)
Joshua Norris, C, OTT – Norris, drafted 19th overall in 2017, appeared in three games with the parent club last season. Getting a chance at consistent ice time, the 21-year-old has seven goals and 10 assists in 34 games as a rookie. Norris was electric last season with AHL Belleville, racking up 31 goals and 61 points in 56 games en route to being named the league's most outstanding rookie. He has shown that his future is bright while centering Tim Stutzle and Drake Batherson.
Sidney Crosby, C, PIT – With Evgeni Malkin sidelined possibly long term, the burden to carry the Penguins offense falls on Crosby, and he has been up to the task. Sid the Kid, no longer young but the moniker has stuck, potted his 12th tally of the season Sunday. He has been remarkably consistent all season, turning up his play this month with five goals and nine helpers in 11 games to give him 32 points in 31 games. He may no longer be an elite scorer, but Crosby does so many other aspects of the game well and has the ability to rise to the occasion when needed.
Jonathan Drouin, LW, MTL – Quick, who leads