With the Boston Bruins continuing to lead the way in the NHL, it is only natural that two of their players are highlighted on the “Who’s Hot” list.
Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk and goalie Jeremy Swayman become the latest Boston players to make this list as they have led the Bruins to a 36-5-4 record.
Former No. 1 overall picks Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche are among the other players trending in the right direction.
Boston (+550), coming off back-to-back road wins, still has the best odds to win the Stanley Cup title, according to the Las Vegas NHL odds.
There are some surprising names on the Who’s Not list this week. Keep on reading for information on the hottest forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders in the NHL, as well as those players recently struggling.
- Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers: While teammate and sometime linemate Connor McDavid is running away with the NHL scoring lead, Draisaitl is quietly continuing to pile up the points.
Draisaitl has four straight multi-point games and has five goals and five assists for the Oilers, who have won five games in a row and currently hold down the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Oilers are 10-1-2 in the last 13 games when he has at least one point and are 3-5-2 when he has one point or less.
The sportsbook has Draisaitl as one of the top candidates in the Hart Trophy race.
- Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils: Hughes was being touted as a franchise-changing player when he was taken first overall in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Hughes got off to a bit of a slow start. However, he is starting to live up to the hype.
Hughes is tied for the NHL lead with 15 points in the month of January. He has 11 goals and six assists over his last 10 games and he is on pace for 53 goals. He looks to join Auston Matthews, Jimmy Carson, Pat LaFontaine, Kevin Stevens, Bobby Carpenter, Jeremy Roenick, Chris Kreider, Joe Mullen, John LeClair, Mike Modano and Keith Tkachuk as the only American-born players with 50-goal seasons.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) January 19, 2023
- Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche: The defending Stanley Cup champions are happy to see their No. 1 center back on the ice.
MacKinnon has five goals and 15 assists in the eight games since he returned to action. He has two goals and six assists during Colorado’s current three-game winning streak. Despite missing 11 games, he still leads the Avalanche with 36 assists and a +17 defensive rating.
- Vince Dunn, Seattle Kraken: Make it three weeks in a row for Dunn to be on this list.
Dunn has points in nine games in a row and he leads all defensemen with 10 assists, 15 points and a +17 defensive rating in the month of January. More importantly, Seattle is 9-2 during the month.
Dunn never averaged more than 19:14 minutes per game during his four seasons with the St. Louis Blues. He is at nearly 24 minutes per contest for the Kraken. Dunn and defensive partner Adam Larsson lead the NHL in most even-strength goals scored while they are on the ice in January. Dunn has been on the ice for 28 goals and Larsson for 24 while no other defenseman has more than 17.
- Ryan Graves, New Jersey Devils: Graves is known more for his play in his own end. However, he has two goals and five assists over his last nine games.
Graves has been on the ice for 17 even-strength goals and just six goals against over the last nine games as the Devils are challenging the Carolina Hurricanes for the lead in the Metropolitan Division.
- Matt Grzelcyk, Boston Bruins: Grzelcyk has been overshadowed by the offensive exploits of some of the fellow defensemen for the Bruins as new coach Jim Montgomery is giving the blue-liners more freedom on the offensive side of things.
Grzelcyk had no goals and five assists in 27 games in November and December. It has been a different deal since the calendar flipped to 2022 to 2023. He has two goals, five assists and a +11 defensive rating in nine games played in January, even after being held off the scoresheet in Boston’s 3-1 win against the New York Rangers on Thursday.
- Samuel Ersson, Philadelphia Flyers: It is hard to argue with including a goal yet to lose in the NHL.
The rookie is 5-0-0 in seven games. In his last four games, he has a 1.41 goals-against average and a save percentage of .948. He has allowed just three goals in his last three starts.
In his last two starts he stopped 38 of 39 shots against Florida and 38 of 40 against Pittsburgh as he has a 1.74 goals-against average in January.
- Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars: His 3-2-1 record over the last six games is rather deceiving. Oettinger has stopped 165 of his last 176 shots and has a 1.82 goals-against average during that stretch.
There is a .61 difference in the goals-against average with Oettinger in net compared to backup Scott Wedgewood, and that speaks volumes about the season Oettinger is having.
- Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins: Either Boston goalie could make this list as Linus Ullmark has been a regular on the Who’s Hot List. However, Swayman gets the nod as he is 4-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .966 save percentage over his last four games.
Swayman hasn’t suffered a regulation loss in his last eight starts and has allowed two goals or less in seven of those appearances as the Bruins continue to lead the NHL in goals-against average.
- Jordan Greenway, Minnesota Wild: It has been a tough season for a player coming off his second double-digit goal campaign.
Greenway has scored just twice in 27 games and he has no goals and one assist over the last seven games. He is averaging 13:54 of ice time this season, his lowest mark since his first full NHL season.
- Cole Sillinger, Columbus Blue Jackets: Sillinger has not scored a goal in his last 24 games. He has just two assists and a -6 defensive rating during that time.
It has been quite the drop-off for a player who had 16 goals and 15 assists as one of the top rookies in the NHL a season ago.
- Chandler Stephenson, Vegas Golden Knights: Stephenson was a point a game player through the first 39 games of the season. It has been a different story in January as he has one goal and no assists over the last seven games.
During the Golden Knights’ current three-game losing streak, he has no goals, no assists, just two shots on goal and a -5 rating.
- Tyler Myers, Vancouver Canucks: Myers has just one point over the last 10 games and has a negative defensive rating in six of those contests as Vancouver is 2-8 during that stretch.
After posting a career-best +15 defensive rating last season, Myers is in danger of posting his third minus rating in his four seasons with the Canucks. Myers has been on the ice for 15 even-strength goals against over the last 10 games.
- Colton Parayko, St. Louis Blues: Parayko has no goals and no assists over the last five games and also has a -2 defensive rating during that stretch. Parayko is +42 over the last four seasons with the Blues. However, he is currently at -14, easily the worst mark of his NHL career.
- Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights: It has been a tough season to date physically for the veteran defenseman as he has missed nine games.
Since returning to the ice on Dec. 17, he has a -8 defensive rating in 14 games. He ended a run of five straight games without a point as he had a goal in Thursday’s loss to Detroit.
- Ville Husso, Detroit Red Wings: Husso allowed nine goals on 47 shots in losses to Columbus and Colorado before bouncing back with a solid effort in a win over Vegas on Thursday.
Husso has a save percentage of .868 and goals-against average of 4.20 over his last 11 games.
- Spencer Martin, Vancouver Canucks: Martin is 0-5 with a 5.64 goals-against average and a save percentage of .829 over his last five games.
Martin has allowed at least four goals in seven of his last 10 games as he makes the Whos Not list for the second week in a row.
- Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets: Merzlikins is 1-5 with a goals against average of 4.09 and save percentage of .878 in his last six games. He has allowed six goals twice and five goals once during that time.
After winning a career-high 27 games last season, he has won back-to-back starts just once this season.