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.
The Carolina Hurricanes are one of the hottest teams, as they're riding a six-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break. Star forward Sebastian Aho is arguably the top reason for the team's recent surge.
Aho is on a five-game goal streak and has scored multiple goals on two occasions during that stretch. Since Jan. 12, Aho has recorded an NHL-leading nine goal as well as two game-winning goals. The Hurricanes center recently kept his goal streak alive in heroic fashion, as he scored the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat the Los Angeles Kings 5-4 on Tuesday.
Chills pic.twitter.com/TDtIOeu12H— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) February 1, 2023
It was Aho's fifth game-winning of the 2022-23 season and second over the past five games.
Aho just wrapped up by far his best month of the season with 11 goals and six assists in January. His eight goals over the past five games have been nothing short of sensational.
Obviously, Carolina was dealt a brutal blow earlier this month when star forward Max Pacioretty was lost for the season with another Achilles injury. But even with the stroke of bad luck, the Hurricanes still look to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
When the Ottawa Senators signed Claude Giroux this past offseason, he was expected to be a veteran voice in the locker room and help vault a struggling franchise to the next level. It's working, as the Senators sit just six points out of a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
However, the veteran winger appears to have found the fountain of youth and is producing at a remarkable level.
Giroux is currently on a four-game goal streak and the Senators star has registered five goals and three assists over the team's last four games -- which have all landed them in the win column. His most impressive performance came in Saturday's 5-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in which he scored a pair of goals and added an assist.
G knew that pass from Rids was a beauty! 🚨#GoSensGo pic.twitter.com/pcRQZhS57O— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) January 29, 2023
Entering the All-Star break, Giroux currently has 48 points (20 goals & 28 assists) on the season. He's on pace for 79 points (33 goals & 46 assists) and if he were to achieve those numbers, it would be his highest output since the 2018-19 season.
The Seattle Kraken hit the lottery when they were able to snag Vince Dunn in the expansion draft in 2021. Dunn has developed into a top-four defenseman and really helped anchor Seattle's blue line.
Dunn currently ranks 12th in points among NHL defensemen (36), but is coming off a month in which he led all NHL defensemen with 17 points. He also was tied for the league lead among all skaters with a +18 rating, which helped vault the Kraken to first place in the Pacific Division thanks to a 11-3-1 record in January.
Dunn has nearly doubled his scoring numbers from his first 34 games of the 2022-23 season. During those first 34 games, the 26-year old registered 19 points (four goals & 15 assists), but was able to recorded points in 11 of his 15 games since that point.
Dunn's 36 points have already matched his career-high, which previously came during the 2018-19 campaign when he had 35 points with the St. Louis Blues in 73 games. Over the past week, Dunn has registered a pair of assists. Both of those helpers came in a 6-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks last Wednesday. His elite presence on Seattle's blue line has been a true difference maker for the team this season. If the Kraken end up in the postseason, his prowess on both ends of the ice will be even more paramount.
After being in the shadow of Henrik Lundqvist and Igor Shesterkin, Alexandar Georgiev is finally getting a chance to showcase his talents. When the defending champion Colorado Avalanche let Darcy Kuemper walk in free agency, they acquired Georgiev in a trade. He has since taken advantage of being the team's primary keeper, something he never got to do in New York.
Georgiev currently ranks eighth in wins (20), 12th in goals-against-average (2.60), and is tied for seventh in save percentage (.920) among NHL goalies. He has a pair of shutouts to his credit. Over his last four games, the 26-year old has a 4-0-0 record to go along with a 1.50 goals-against-average and a .954 save percentage.
Alexandar Georgiev’s game-saving play: pic.twitter.com/aY7wH9K47K— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) January 25, 2023
The Avalanche netminder has stopped 125 of the 131 shots that he's faced over that stretch and has allowed two goals or fewer in all four of those starts. In eight starts in January, Georgiev posted a 2.39 goals-against-average and only allowed more than three goals on one occasion.
Georgiev continues to make the most of his opportunity as a number-one goaltender. If the Avalanche want to defend their Stanley Cup from a season ago, he'll be a huge part of any success that the team has when the postseason rolls around.