Goldipucks and the Three Skaters: Cale Makar, Nikita Kucherov & Aleksander Barkov

Rick Roos


Welcome back to Goldipucks and the Three Skaters, a play on words of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. Instead of there being three bowls of porridge though, I cover three skaters and declare one too hot (i.e., doing unsustainably better than he should), another too cold (i.e., doing unsustainably worse), and a third “just right” (i.e., producing where he should be). In addition, I also assign each a rating of 1-10, indicating how hot (rated 7-10, where 10 is the most unsustainably hot), cold (rated 1-4, where 1 is the most unsustainably cold), or “just right” (rated 4-7, where 5.5 is the most “just right”) he is.

For this last installment of Goldipucks before the 2022-23 season, I decided let's swing for the fences and cover three of the NHL's best players, namely Cale Makar, Nikita Kucherov, and Aleksander Barkov. Now that I have your undivided attention, the task turns to you to deduce which of the three – for 2021-22 – was too hot, who was too cold, and whose stats were just right. With stars like these in the crosshairs, the stakes are quite high, so let's hope you can sniff out the right answers.

Cale Makar (77 games, 28G, 58A, 240 SOG, 34 PPPts, 25:40 TOI, 3:50 PP, 70.5% PP%)

Drafted fourth overall in 2017, Makar opted to play two seasons of college hockey, where he produced better than a point per game then had six points in ten 2019 NHL playoff games, earning him a spot on the Avs for 2019-20, where he wowed to the tune of 50 points in 57 games. If there was concern about a sophomore slump, those fears were dispelled and then some as Makar bested his 72-point rookie pace with point per game numbers (44 points in as many games). Lest anyone think he was only doing well because he'd yet to play a full season, he saw his scoring rate jump ten points