This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a rookie center on Broadway, two young wingers on fire, a veteran working his way back in the State of Hockey, a rookie center in concussion protocol and a Golden Knight looking a bit tarnished.
First Liners (Risers)
Brett Howden, C, NYR – Howden, acquired along with Libor Hajek from Tampa Bay for Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller at last year's trading deadline, was a longshot to make the Rangers out of training camp. But his play continued to improve as camp wore on, earning him a spot over Lias Andersson. Howden was expected to play on the fourth line, but his better-than-anticipated offense, proficiency in the faceoff dot and defensive abilities have earned him additional ice time through the first five games of the season.
Sebastian Aho, LW, CAR – Aho, taken 35th overall in 2015, looks like an absolute steal for the Hurricanes. After jumping from 49 to 65 points last year, Aho looks as if he may obliterate that total in his third year. Following a pair of goals and two assists Saturday, Aho now has points in each of Carolina's five games this season and sits with 10 points (four goals, six assists) along with a plus-7 rating on the year.
Alex DeBrincat, RW, CHI – DeBrincat somewhat quietly posted 52 goals (24 goals and 28 assists) as a rookie last season. The strong rookie class and struggles by Chicago lmay have overshadowed those numbers. This year, the