ESPN presents the best player in the world of the week. If there’s a player you’d like to nominate, from your local team to a high school team to your beer league, email us here. Stats tell only part of the story, so tell us why he or she deserves this honor.
The Avs star continued to build his Hart Trophy case with 11 points in four games, pulling the team within a point of the final playoff seed. That included five goals and six assists, the majority of which came in a five-point game against the Minnesota Wild. “Obviously it wasn’t their best night. But I thought we earned every goal we got,” he said.
Maxime Comtois, Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
There are great offensive performances, and then there’s what Maxime Comtois did in his past three games for the Tigres: 12 points on five goals and seven assists. He’s has 47 points in 21 games since Jan. 11 and recently signed his entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks (he was drafted No. 50 overall in 2017).
Ryan Poehling, St. Cloud State (NCAA)
INCREDIBLE! A candidate for #SCTop10 – St. Cloud State sophomore forward Ryan Poehling’s goal at 8:39 of the 3rd gives #1 SCSU a 3-2 lead at North Dakota on Mar. 2. Between the legs and into the net. @TheNCHC @NCAAIceHockey @collegehockey pic.twitter.com/eZ2c25RgjT
– SCSU Men’s Hockey (@SCSUHUSKIES_MH) March 3, 2018
The Montreal Canadiens draftee (No. 25 overall, 2017) scored this incredible goal in the 4-on-4 and then again in overtime to give his team a huge win at North Dakota. He added a third goal of the weekend in a 2-2 tie. St. Cloud State is the top-ranked team in the nation.
Cody Glass, Portland Winterhawks (WHL)
Glass won Western Hockey League Player of the Week for his 10 points (five goals and five assists) and a plus-seven rating in four games. If that name sounds familiar, perhaps you won a bar bet with it in the last year: Glass was the first player drafted in Vegas Golden Knights history, No. 6 overall last summer. (Not to be confused with center Reid Duke of the Brandon Wheat Kings, the first player the Knights signed.)
Ivan Bondarenko and Vitali Mikhailov, Oklahoma City Blazers (WSHL)
These were co-nominees from reader Candace Riley, the team’s photographer. They each had seven goals(!) in a weekend sweep of the Casper Coyotes, which included back-to-back hat tricks for Mikhailov and a five-goal game for Bondarenko.
Sam Walther, Hamilton College (NESCAC)
– Hamilton Athletics (@HamCollSports) March 5, 2018
The senior goalie stopped 74 of 75 shots in winning one game and tying one last weekend, including her 10th shutout of the season in a 0-0 tie with Connecticut College. She leads the NESCAC in goals-against average (1.00), save percentage (.963) and shutouts, and wrapped up quite a career there.
And the best player in the world of the week is …
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team.
The mass shooting at the Parkland, Florida, school remains an unfathomable tragedy for those affected by it. That includes the members of the school’s boys’ hockey team, who won the state championship in their league less than two weeks after the shooting. The tragedy claimed the life of Jaime Guttenberg, sister of junior varsity player Jesse Guttenberg. The players placed their medals from that tournament win on memorials of the victims, with senior Matthew Horowitz telling the media that “we’re pretty much fighting for the 17 who passed away.”
The NHL community rallied together to support the team. Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, a former student at the school, hosted the team at a game against the Florida Panthers. One day later, the team practiced at BB&T Arena, which was decorated in Stoneman Douglas’ honor, including a championship banner. It was at that practice when a special guest made an appearance: the Stanley Cup, which the players mobbed.
Members of the Stoneman Douglas hockey team worked out at the Florida Panthers’ arena on Monday.
Then the NHL surprised them with a visit from the Stanley Cup. pic.twitter.com/daeYEKVaai
– ESPN (@espn) March 6, 2018
The Panthers also announced that they were flying the team to nationals in Minnesota, which run from March 23 to March 26. As Shawn Thornton of the Panthers said: “[The airline] Swift [Air] and ownership said, ‘Why don’t we put them on the team plane and get them up to Minnesota and back?’ Very generous, very thoughtful of them.”
Congrats to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School hockey team players for their perseverance, their grace and their victory. They are the best players in the world of the week.