A look at the NHL and what’s happening in the NHL.
It’s not easy being a rookie and playing in the Eastern Conference.
But for every guy who’s had an impact on the team this season, there are a dozen who have had an equally important role in a championship run.
Here are five players who helped lead their teams to an Eastern Conference title in 2015-16.1.
Andrew LaddThe Blackhawks have not won a Stanley Cup since 2008, but they won the conference championship in 2015, finishing second to the Capitals for the best record in the East.
Ladd was a key piece to the team’s run to the Cup, posting 15 goals and 25 points in 39 games, while also playing a significant role in helping Chicago secure a second straight Stanley Cup.
He is the first player in franchise history to post two consecutive seasons of at least 50 points, which also helped Chicago secure its first-ever trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.2.
Tyler SeguinThe Stars’ defense has improved dramatically over the past few years, while the offense has become a more potent weapon.
Tyler Johnson and Alexander Radulov are back, but Seguina’s role is on par with what he had a year ago.
He posted 24 goals and 39 points in 64 games and led the Stars with 13 power-play goals.
He also has two assists in his last five games.3.
Alex PietrangeloPietrangelo has made an impact this season on the power play.
He had 13 points in 17 games in 2015 and has six points in his past seven games.
His 10 power-game goals have made him one of just five players in the history of the franchise to have at least 10 power play points.
He has five power-goal games in his career.4.
Mattias JanmarkThe Capitals’ top-line center is back.
Janmark was one of the Stars’ best defenders last season and posted a plus-20 rating in 69 games.
He recorded eight points in six games with Washington in the postseason, while adding three assists in the playoffs.5.
Jason SpezzaThe Blackhawks got a break with the trade of captain Jonathan Toews and the addition of Jason Spez, but the big-bodied center is still a force in the defensive zone.
Spez posted seven points in five games with the Capitals in the Stanley Series.6.
Kyle OkposoThe Penguins are not known for having a lot of top-four defensemen, but Okposy is still an offensive force.
The big center was a minus-6 in 82 games last season, but he has seven goals in 14 playoff games.7.
Brandon SaadSaad, the Stars fourth-round pick in 2014, has been one of their best players in each of the past three seasons.
The 21-year-old has played in all 82 games and recorded 10 points (2g-7a) in 13 playoff games, and he was the Stars top offensive defenseman last season.8.
Matt MurrayThe Penguins, along with the Blackhawks, have struggled to win games this season.
Murray led the NHL with 32 points (9g-23a) last season after posting a career-high 18 points (7g-14a) with the Blues in 2016-17.
He and Mattias Backstrom have been the best pairing in the league this season and have helped Pittsburgh reach the Stanley Final for the second straight season.9.
Jonathan HuberdeauThe Hawks have struggled in the early going, but Huber was among the Stars defensemen who helped the Hawks reach the Eastern conference finals.
He was among six defensemen in the 2015 NHL Draft who were among the top six in goals-against average and save percentage.
He scored three goals in five playoff games in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, helping Chicago reach the Finals.10.
Jamie OleksiakThe Stars were in trouble on the penalty kill last season before they started playing well, but Oleksiak was among their best defenders, posting a plus plus-6 rating in 53 games.
He has six goals in seven games this year and has a plus/minus rating of plus-16 in the past four games.11.
Ryan GarbuttGarbutt played a major role in the Blackhawks’ success last season with his ability to make plays on the puck and make plays off it.
The 24-year, 27-year old was a plus forward in 2015 before moving to center.
He’s been among the best defenders this season with the Hawks and helped the Stars secure a Stanley Series berth.12.
Erik GustafssonThe Stars had a tough first round, but Gustafson was among those who helped them win the Stanley Finals.
He led the Blackhawks with 17 goals in 71 games, but was limited to one goal in six playoff games and missed the first round by two points.13.
Cody EakinThe Stars struggled in their first round