This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes a pair of centers on Broadway — one rising and one possibly falling — a winger with upside in the Buckeye State, the possible future No. 1 netminder in the same state, two main components of the big Toronto-Colorado trade this offseason as potential fallers and a former top goalie on the Stanley Cup champs.
First Liners (Risers)
Lias Andersson, C, NYR – Andersson, selected seventh overall in 2017, was in many circles a bust after last season. This offseason, Andersson added 15 pounds of muscle and has looked much stronger and confident on the ice. As the Rangers closed out preseason, Andersson will fill the fourth-line center role and could move up a line while also seeing time on the penalty kill. He should rack up some hits and faceoff wins, giving him added value in those formats.
Oliver Bjorkstrand, RW, CLM – Bjorkstrand is one of the players the Blue Jackets are counting on to fill the offensive void created by the departures of Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel. As we noted in our recent update, "Bjorkstrand flashed his potential in the second half last season, scoring 20 of his career-high 23 goals over the final 46 games despite averaging only 12:45 in ice time during that stretch. With a role in the top six open for Bjorkstrand and potentially significant power-play time as well, he should easily see more minutes, but he'll need to show more consistency