Top 10 Surprising Fast Starts

Tom Collins

2021-02-01

Every season begins with a few players who exceed all expectations.

The trick is determining which players can keep it up and which ones are flashes in the pan. Last season saw J.T. Miller and Travis Konecny get off to hot starts and keep it up, while Evander Kane and Nick Schmaltz slowed down.

It's no surprise to see names like Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, John Carlson and Nathan MacKinnon ripping up the scoreboard. But what about some of those players whom we didn't expect to be so awesome this early?

For the record, we're looking at 10 players who have been consistently productive this season, and not players whose numbers look impressive because of a game or two. Tomas Hertl, for example, had six points in his first three games, but just one in the last five.

10. Andrew Copp

While much talk has been focusing on the start of linemate Nikolaj Ehlers (who has 11 points in eight games), the 26-year-old Copp is off to a hot start of his own with nine points in eight games. Copp's ice time and shooting percentage are pretty much on par with normal, but he is at career highs for offensive zone starts and IPP (which measures how many points a player has on goals that were scored when he was on the ice). How long will this last? Tough to say since the lines will switch once Pierre-Luc Dubois can start suiting up for games. Copp may stay on the second line with Dubois and Ehlers, but it's also possible Paul Stastny moves to the wing and bumps Copp down to the third line.

9. Darnell Nurse

Going into Sunday's action, the top-ranked defenseman for Yahoo leagues was Cale Makar (no surprise there). Second was Darnell Nurse, who has seven points in 10 games before Sunday night's tilt against Ottawa. I