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Welcome to the NHL Star Power Index: A weekly gauge of the players who are controlling substantial buzz around the league. When a player is included on this list it may not be a good thing -- it means that they are capturing a large amount of the hockey world's attention.

These players are in no particular order when it comes to the amount of buzz that they're creating. We'll revisit the Star Power Index every week throughout the regular season.

Matthew Tkachuk
FLA • LW • #19
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Matthew Tkachuk was the unsung hero of the 2023 postseason and helped lead the Florida Panthers to just their second Stanley Cup appearance in franchise history. After somewhat of a slow start to the 2023-24 season, the Panthers star has really turned it on of late.

Tkachuk is currently riding a four-game goal streak as has racked up six goals over that stretch. Tkachuk has tallied 12 points (six goals and six assists) during his goal-scoring streak.

In Tuesday's 5-1 win against the St. Louis Blues, Tkachuk registered a four-point performance (three goals and one assist) in which he scored three unanswered goals. Tkachuk and fellow Panthers forward Sam Reinhart became the third and fourth players in franchise history to record six goals apiece on a road trip. Tkachuk and Reinhart joined Richard Zednik (six goals from Feb. 2-10, 2008) and Pavel Bure (six goals from March 16-23, 2000) as the only players to achieve such a feat.

Early in the third period of Tuesday's contest, Tkachuk helped set himself up for a tremendous scoring chance. At the 2:18 mark of the third period, Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe made a stellar defensive play and got the puck ahead to Tkachuk, who was racing ahead of the pack. Tkachuk then made a sound play when he waited for Verhaeghe to join the rush, and passed it off to Verhaeghe. Verhaeghe gave the puck right back to Tkachuk for a one-timer goal.

Later in the period, Tkachuk scored one of those gritty goals that fans have grown accustomed to seeing from him during his career.

Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling had the puck out at the point and let a snap shot go from out there. Tkachuk was able to carve out enough space in front of Blues goaltender Joel Hofer to deflect Forsling's shot into the back of the net for his second goal of the night.

Tkachuk was able to add an empty-net goal in the final minute of the contest to help clinch the 5-1 win for the Panthers. 

The Panthers star has registered at least a point in six consecutive games, and has tallied six goals and nine assists during that six-game stretch. 

Florida is creeping back up toward the top of the Atlantic Division and currently sits just two points behind the juggernaut Boston Bruins. If Tkachuk can continue this high level of play, a repeat performance of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs certainly isn't out of the question for the Panthers.

William Nylander
TOR • RW • #88
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It's been quite a week for William Nylander, to say the least. On Monday, Nylander signed a massive eight-year, $92 million contract extension ($11.5 million average annual value) to remain with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nylander register three assists in Tuesday's 7-1 win against the San Jose Sharks to mark his third multi-point game over his last four contests.

Nylander has now registered a point in 34 of his 38 games during the 2023-24 campaign. His four games without a point is the fewest by a player in the NHL with a minimum of 20 games played. The next closest players to Nylander are Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid and New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin, who both sit at six games without a point on the year.

At the 16:48 mark of the opening period of Tuesday's game, Nylander displayed his sensational playmaking ability. 

Nylander came up with the puck in the face-off circle and drifted back out toward the blue line. Just when it appears that Nylander was hemmed in, he slid the puck between two Sharks defenders and onto the stick of defenseman Morgan Rielly, who deposited a snap shot past Sharks goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen.

The Maple Leafs star also earned secondary assists on goals by Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner to complete a stellar three-point showing. 

Nylander currently leads the Maple Leafs in points (57) and assists (36), while being tied with Matthews for the team lead in shots (164). The Maple Leafs winger has absolutely been electric this season, which certainly helped him earn that new contract.

The Maple Leafs are looking like an insanely dangerous offensive unit, and Nylander is one of the biggest reasons why. It's safe to say Toronto could be a tough out when the Stanley Cup Playoffs roll around later this season.

Quinn Hughes
VAN • D • #43
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Quinn Hughes has been arguably the most accomplished defenseman the NHL has to offer this season.

The Vancouver Canucks blue-liner currently leads all NHL defenseman in points (51) and assists (40). Hughes also ranks second in goals (11) behind only Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (12). 

Hughes is currently on a three-game point streak in which he's registered a goal and four assists during that stretch. The 24-year-old is coming off of a game in which he scored an unassisted goal in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

While Hughes excels on the defensive end of the ice, the star defenseman showed just how dangerous he can be with the puck on his stick against the Islanders. 

In the opening period, Hughes scooped up the puck behind the net in the offensive line. As he attempted to find a more open shot, Hughes weaved his way around the entire Islanders defense, waited for space to clear out, and ripped a snap shot past goaltender Ilya Sorokin from the slot.

Hughes had also had a three-assist performance in a 6-4 win against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. The Canucks star earned secondary assists on two goals from Elias Pettersson and one from J.T. Miller.

Hughes has easily placed himself as one of the frontrunners for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman. After all, he's currently on pace for 102 points (22 goals and 80 assists) for the 2023-24 campaign. If he's able to keep anywhere this pace, the Canucks are going to cement themselves as one of the Western Conference's top teams come playoff time.

Connor Hellebuyck
WPG • G • #37
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Connor Hellebuyck has been playing at a completely different level over the past two months. 

Hellebuyck has only surrendered more than two goals on one occasion over the past two months. The Winnipeg Jets netminder last gave up more than two goals on Dec. 18 in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Montreal Canadiens. Prior to that, Hellebuyck last yielded more than two goals was on Nov. 17 in a 6-3 win against the New Jersey Devils.

Hellebuyck has yielded just three goals over his last three games, including registering a shutout in his most recent start against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The Jets netminder stopped all 29 shots he faced against the Blue Jackets in a 5-0 win.

Hellebuyck has been dominant since the calendar flipped to 2024. The Jets goaltender has a 4-0-0 record, a 1.26 goals-against-average and a .954 save percentage in those four starts, and he has allowed just five total goals during that span.

The Jets goalie has had a sub 2.00 goals-against-average in each of the last two months, including a 1.88 goals-against-average in nine games during the month of December.

Right now, Hellebuyck could easily be considered one of the frontrunners for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender. If anywhere near this type of production continues in the crease, Hellebuyck could be securing the prestigious award for the second time in his career.