Welcome to a new feature here at ESPN: The Best Player in the World of the Week. Each Tuesday, we’ll honor the skater or goalie from around the hockey world — every league, every level, every player — who had the best previous week, Monday through Sunday. 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. And remember: Stats only tell part of the story, so tell us why he or she deserves this honor.
Best Player In The World Of The Week (for the week ending Oct. 29)
Miye D’Oench, New York Riveters (NWHL)
The 23-year-old defender had two assists in the Riveters’ historic 4-1 win over the Boston Pride in the first NWHL-NHL doubleheader at Prudential Center in Newark. The New York native also managed five shots in front of more than 2,000 fans in the afternoon game.
Jason Grande, Amarillo Bulls (NAHL)
The 18-year-old goalie posted back-to-back shutouts last weekend over Corpus Christi, stopping all 66 shots he faced, including 39 in a 4-0 win. He has three shutouts on the season. In other words, he was perfect … although not as perfect as his last name is in the eyes of headline writers.
Ilya Kovalchuk, St. Petersburg SKA (KHL)
The “retired” NHL star had three goals and four assists for SKA last week, giving him 20 goals in 28 games this season. Fun fact: If you combined Kovalchuk’s Russian league goals with his NHL goals, he’d have 571; do the same for Alex Ovechkin, and he’d have 623.
Griffin Loughran, Fargo Force (USHL)
The 18-year-old winger had seven points in two games, including a six-point game (!) in a victory over Des Moines, with a hat trick and three assists in a 6-5 win. By far, the most exhilarating thing to happen involving Fargo that didn’t involve Steve Buscemi and a wood chipper.
Aaron Luchuk, Windsor Spitfires (OHL)
The 20-year-old center had nine points in three games for the Spitfires, including a hat trick and two assists against Sudbury, and a goal and three assists against Owen Sound. Great hockey player, mediocre pumpkin carver. Such is life.
Dylan Strome, Tucson Roadrunners (AHL)
The third-overall pick in 2015 who was sent to the AHL by the Arizona Coyotes to start the season, had seven points and a plus-8 in three wins for Tucson last week. That included his first career professional goal. So, in summary, he had more points in three games than brother Ryan Strome has in 10 games with the Edmonton Oilers this season.
How-hum, another offensive explosion from the Islanders star. Tavares had two hat tricks last week and seven points overall in three games. Here’s hoping the Islanders get that new arena they’re looking for so he can score many more for them. Or else … yikes.
And The Best Player In The World Of The Week Is …
John Tavares of the Islanders. It’s hard to beat two hat tricks in the same week. In fact, with his three goals against the Nashville Predators, Tavares became the third player in team history to record two tricks in three games, the last player to do so being the incomparably named Ziggy Palffy in 1996.
Congratulations, John Tavares: You are the best hockey player in the world, at least for this week.