NEW YORK – Winnipeg Jets left wing Kyle Connor, Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid and New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 24.
FIRST STAR – KYLE CONNOR, LW, WINNIPEG JETS
Connor led all scorers with 5-3-8 in three games, tallying multiple points in each contest, as the Jets earned five of a possible six standings points. He began the week notching a pair of first-period goals plus an assist in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday. He paced the Jets’ attack in a winning home opener with another two-goal, one-assist effort in a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Canada Life Centre Thursday. It marked Connor’s 24th career multi-goal game; the only players in Jets/Thrashers history with more are Ilya Kovalchuk (46), Bryan Little (27) and Blake Wheeler (27). Connor finished the week with a goal and an assist in a 6-4 home win over the Nashville Predators Saturday.
The 24-year-old Shelby Township, Mich., native has tallied six goals in his first five games of the season, part of a five-way tie for the early NHL goal-scoring lead with McDavid, Anze Kopitar (LAK), Tyler Bertuzzi (DET) and Elias Lindholm (CGY). Connor recorded 30+ goals in each of his first three full NHL seasons from 2017-18 through 2019-20 and scored 26 in the shortened 56-game campaign in 2020-21, a 38-goal pace for an 82-game schedule.
SECOND STAR – CONNOR McDAVID, C, EDMONTON OILERS
McDavid recorded 3-5-8 in three multi-point performances, helping the Oilers improve to 5-0-0 and first place in the Pacific Division. He began the week with a goal and two assists in a 6-5 win over the Anaheim Ducks Tuesday, including an assist on Leon Draisaitl‘s 200th career goal. McDavid matched his teammate two nights later, reaching the 200-goal milestone as part of a two-goal, one-assist effort in a 5-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes Thursday. Among players to make their League debut with Edmonton, only three required fewer games than McDavid (411 GP) to reach the 200-goal mark with the franchise: Wayne Gretzky (242), Jari Kurri (328) and Glenn Anderson (348). McDavid later posted two assists in a 5-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights Friday. The reigning Hart Trophy, Art Ross Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award winner owns the League scoring lead with 13 points (6-7-13) in his first five games, tallying multiple points in each. Only Gretzky has recorded more points through the opening five contests for the Oilers (7-8-15 in 1983-84 and 3-11-14 in 1986-87).
THIRD STAR – ILYA SOROKIN, G, NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Sorokin went 3-0-1 with a 0.99 goals-against average, .971 save percentage and two shutouts, backstopping the Islanders to seven of a possible eight points in four road contests. He notched the first win of his sophomore NHL campaign with 39 saves in 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday and stopped 29 shots in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday before recording back-to-back shutouts over the weekend. Sorokin turned aside all 26 shots in a 3-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Saturday and 42 more in a 2-0 win against the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday, becoming the first goaltender in franchise history to record road shutouts on consecutive days. The last NHL goaltender to accomplish the feat was Winnipeg’s Ondrej Pavelec on April 6-7, 2015.