Mark Stone – Vegas Golden Knights
Mark Stone may not have found his way on the scoresheet, but he made his presence felt immediately with Vegas. Stone showed off his defensive skills by blocking nine passes, the most of any forward last night, a category he ranks second in the NHL among forwards. He was just as active offensively, with six slot shots on net, a season-high for him.
Kevin Hayes – Winnipeg Jets
Hayes had a quiet night in his first game with the Jets. Playing on a line with Mathieu Perreault and Nikolaj Ehlers, they worked on creating some good chemistry and showed flashes of what could be a dominant line. Hayes dominated the faceoff dot winning 67% of his faceoffs and used his long reach and good stick to get two takeaways.
Gustav Nyquist – San Jose Sharks
Nyquist fit in nicely last night in his first game with the Sharks. Playing alongside Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc, he was tied for the game-high in offensive zone puck possession and put himself in position for high-quality scoring chances, the most on his team. Nyquist was a great addition for them and if he keeps his stick on the ice there’s a pretty good chance Thornton will be finding it.
Ryan Dzingel – Columbus Blue Jackets
Dzingel had an interesting start last night. He picked up an assist on a nice rip by Oliver Bjorkstrand but ended up playing with two different centremen. Their coach, John Tortorella, was clearly trying to mix things up to see how everyone fits in. As their lines start to settle and Dzingel finds some chemistry with his new teammates, he’s going to be a good addition to their lineup.
Marcus Johansson – Boston Bruins
Johansson started his Boston career with an assist on a really nice goal by Jake DeBrusk. He continued to be involved all night finished with the second highest offensive zone possession time on his team while also playing a good deal of powerplay time. The Bruins lineup is looking really strong especially once David Pastrnak makes his return.
Wayne Simmonds – Nashville Predators
Simmonds wasn’t able to help the Predators solve the red-hot Jordan Binnington but what he did do was park himself in front of the net on the powerplay. The problem though is that no one on their powerplay was willing to shoot. Simmonds played with Kyle Turris and Calle Jarnkrok but he needs to step up his physical game if he wants to be effective at even-strength.
Ryan Hartman – Philadelphia Flyers
It only took until his second shift for Hartman to give the Flyers fans a reason to love him. Running over Rasmus Dahlin and then following that up with a wrestling match with Zach Bogosian is the perfect way to win over the Philly faithful. Hartman didn’t get on the scoreboard but his game-high four hits made their impact.
Welcome to Philadelphia, Ryan Hartman!
The crowd goes wild after he throws a huge hit on Dahlin. pic.twitter.com/d6DJtunKbQ
— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) February 27, 2019
Brandon Montour – Buffalo Sabres
In Montour’s first game with the Sabres he was -1 with 3 shots, 3 hits, and 2 blocks in 18:11 of ice-time. He was utilized both on the powerplay and the penalty kill. Montour made a great play picking up a giveaway and turning it up ice with a great pass to leave the defensive zone that turned into a goal for Casey Mittelstadt. Montour brings the ability to create plays just like that one when he transitions the puck quickly from defense to offense creating odd-man opportunities for his team.
Kevin Fiala – Minnesota Wild
Playing with Zach Parise and Luke Kunin, Fiala wasn’t able to get his name on the scoresheet but he was creating high-end chances on an offensively starved team. He had three shots while leading the game in slot pass completions and had the second most controlled entries on his team. He was also active on defense with two takeaways and he tied for the most blocked passes by a forward on his team in the game.