This article is part of our NHL Barometer series.
This week's article includes Hertl the Turtle, a rookie winger rolling in Big D, a blueliner stepping up for the Cats, the Isles' rookie netminder, Carolina welcomes back its top man between the pipes and one of Columbus' big acquisitions slumping.
First Liners (Risers)
Tomas Hertl, C, SJ – The Sharks are surprisingly hanging around in the playoff hunt in the West Division. Aiding that effort has been the play of the Timo Meier-Hertl-Rudolfs Balcers trio. That line has been on fire lately, with Hertl notching five goals and eight helpers in his last 14 games. He's up to 24 points, 60 shots on net and 15 PIM in 31 games. The 74 points he scored in 77 games two years ago certainly looks to be an aberration, but that doesn't mean he lacks value, especially in deeper leagues.
Jason Robertson, LW, DAL – Robertson, a second-round pick, 39th overall in 2017, posted 25 goals and 47 points in 60 games for AHL Texas last season, earning a three-game cup of coffee at the parent level. That performance earned Robertson a full-time role with the Stars this season, and he has not disappointed. Robertson saw his point streak end at four games Sunday, and the 21-year-old rookie has put together a solid season with 24 points (eight goals, 16 helpers), 65 shots on net and a plus-6 rating in 31 contests. He should continue to see top-six usage, though he'll likely be more productive when