This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes the Rangers' second-line center, a young blueliner blossoming in Columbus, Samsonov rebounding, the eldest Hughes close to returning and Murray's time appears to have ended in Ottawa.
First Liners (Risers)
Ryan Strome, C, NYR – Strome, the Rangers' second-line center, has been on fire since returning from a four-game absence in October. With a goal and an assist Friday, Strome extended his point streak to eight games, a stretch during which he's piled up two goals and 10 points. The fifth overall pick by the Islanders in 2011, Strome started to live up his draft selection after coming to the Rangers during the 2018-19. On a line with Artemi Panarin, look for Strome, an unrestricted free agent after the season, to continue to rack up points.
Tage Thompson, C, BUF – Thompson, who came to Buffalo in the Ryan O'Reilly deal, has teased occasionally with his talent but has failed to put it all together. By posting eight goals, six assists, 14 points with a minus-six rating, Thompson set career highs across the board last season, which is an indication of how he has struggled to translate his talent to performance. The injury to Casey Mittelstadt gave Thompson a chance to run with the first-line role and he has made the most of that chance, as he is up to 10 goals and six assists in just 21 games this season.
Jeff Skinner, LW, BUF – Skinner is having a major resurgence