This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a pair of young top centers, the "backup" goalie in San Jose, down goes Shattenkirk and a not-so-great Dane.
First Liners (Risers)
Aleksander Barkov, C, FLA – Injuries curtailed Barkov's production throughout his career, costing the young center 76 games his first four seasons in the league. Healthy so far this season, the NHL is seeing just how special the 22-year old is on the ice. Barkov looks like he will be a perennial Selke Award candidate and is well known for his shootout prowess. This year, Barkov has tallied 15 goals and 28 assists in 44 games while averaging three more minutes of ice time.
Sean Monahan, C, CGY – Monahan tallied 62 points in his second year in the league and 63 two years ago before "falling" to 58 last season. He is more than doing his part to make sure another decline doesn't happen this season. The sixth overall pick in 2013 has posted four goals and 12 points in his last 11 games, giving the 23-year pivot 21 goals and 21 assists in 45 contests. Monahan centers Johnny Gaudreau and Micheal Ferland on Calgary's top line, a trio that should continue to wreak havoc for the remainder of the season.
Jamie Benn, LW, DAL – Benn extended his point streak to seven games with a goal and an assist Saturday against the Sabres. After dropping to 69 points in 77 games from 89 and 87 points the prior two