Sonny Milano

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The Buzzer: McDavid filets Flyers; Kane raises Sharks

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Three Stars

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Look, this is Connor McDavid. He’s at the point where it’s tough to surprise us.

… Yet, I have to admit, he’s begun 2019-20 on an even hotter streak than I imagined, and for all that Edmonton might improve under Dave Tippett, it’s difficult not to chalk most of it up to McDavid, alongside Leon Draisaitl.

McDavid was outrageous on Wednesday, generating a very pretty goal and four assists for five points. Those four assists represent a career-high for McDavid.

Despite that great night, I was leaning toward giving the top star to Evander Kane until I saw this stat, which admittedly steps on the factoids section a bit:

Unless you get really obscure with a stat, it’s usually a great sign when you do something that hasn’t been done since Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky were still lacing up their skates …

2. Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks

After sitting out the first three games of the 2019-20 season thanks to a suspension, Kane generated one goal and one assist in three contests. Wednesday represented an eruption for his fourth game, then, as Kane generated a hat trick during the first period of the Sharks’ 5-2 win against the Hurricanes.

Kane also assisted on a Tomas Hertl goal, giving him a hat trick plus a helper for a four-point night.

If you think Kane deserves the nod over McDavid, I understand.

That said, three stars aren’t just a great opportunity to spotlight one wonderful performance, but also a time where it’s that much more pressing to point out a hot streak and great season. Which is why we pivot to someone whose great start might slip under the radar.

3. John Carlson, Washington Capitals

When the Caps signed Carlson to an eight-year, $64 million contract, it felt like a necessary evil. We’ve seen plenty of players age poorly, and Carlson blew away his previous career totals when he generated 15 goals and 68 points in 2017-18, helping Washington win that coveted Stanley Cup.

And then Carlson put together an even better 2018-19, scoring a resounding 70 points in 80 games.

At some point he has to slow down, right?

Maybe, but so far, it doesn’t feel like that time will be at age 29. Carlson produced three points (one goal, two assists) in Washington’s win against Toronto on Thursday, giving him an eyebrow-raising 14 points in eight games.

Those 14 points leave Carlson in third place behind McDavid and Leon Draisaitl — not just among defensemen. Suddenly, that $8M AAV starts to look like a bargain for the Capitals.

The runner-up to the runner-up for Highlight of the Night

Wednesdays aren’t usually the busiest NHL days, yet this one was ripe with great moments.

The moments have been great enough that Sidney Crosby‘s bedazzling backhander already got its own post, while Sonny Milano provided ample competition with his downright silly goal for the Blue Jackets.

The bronze medal provides gold of its own, though, as Connor McDavid reminded the world why it’s pretty easy to look like a dominant team when you can basically just lob the puck up blindly and assume that it might end up becoming a goal for 97:

Factoids

Scores

PIT 3 – COL 2 (OT)
WSH 4 – TOR 3
CBJ 3 – DAL 2
EDM 6 – PHI 3
ANA 5 – BUF 2
SJS 5 – CAR 2

MORE:
• Pro Hockey Talk’s Stanley Cup picks.
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Blue Jackets’ Milano scores ridiculous between-the-legs goal vs. Stars

Sidney Crosby scored a wonderful highlight reel goal despite hard-working defense, yet he has some competition for Wednesday’s best one-man effort.

Sonny Milano hasn’t always been able to justify being selected 16th overall in 2014 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but there have been flashes of brilliance when he’s avoided landed in John Tortorella’s doghouse. The 23-year-old authored his best NHL effort so far against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, beating Esa Lindell, Roope Hintz, and Ben Bishop, making a great move and then finishing his chance with the sort of between-the-legs move you’d see in a shootout.

You’re just not supposed to be able to that at full speed in NHL action, particularly against quality players and Bishop, who finished second in Vezina voting in 2018-19.

That goal ended up standing as the game-winner as Columbus beat Dallas 3-2 on Wednesday, too.

So, which goal do you prefer: Milano’s (above this post’s headline) or Crosby’s from the Penguins’ eventual 3-2 OT win against the Colorado Avalanche?

MORE:
• Pro Hockey Talk’s Stanley Cup picks.
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Milano, Greer arrested after alleged fight over nightclub bill: report

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An alleged argument over a Manhattan nightclub bill landed two NHLers in handcuffs early Sunday morning, according to a report from the New York Post.

The Post reported that both Sonny Milano, a forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets, and A.J. Greer, a Colorado Avalanche forward, were taken into custody after an alleged fight between the pair and a 28-year-old man at a Greenwich Village apartment in Manhattan.

According to the Post, the two players attacked the man, who “suffered jaw and rib pain” and long with “injuries to the neck and bicep.”

Both players have been charged with assault.

The Blue Jackets released a statement on Sunday.

“The Columbus Blue Jackets are aware of the reports involving Sonny Milano. We are reviewing the situation and will not be commenting further at this time.”

The Avs had not released a statement as of Sunday morning.

Milano played eight games for the Blue Jackets last season, scoring a goal. Greer, meanwhile, had one assist in 15 contests with the Avs.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Eichel headlines U.S. junior evaluation camp roster

Jack Eichel highlights Team USA’s national junior evaluation camp roster, which was unveiled on Thursday.

Eichel, who captained the 2015 U.S. world junior squad, is one of 11 players from this year’s tournament invited to the camp, which takes place Aug. 1-8, in Lake Placid, New York.

Rangers’ prospect Brandon Halverson returns in goal while Brandon Carlo, Ryan Collins, Noah Hanifin and Zach Werenski were all a part of the Americans’ blue line at the 2015 tournament.

Dylan Larkin, Auston Matthews, Sonny Milano, Nick Schmaltz and Alex Tuch along with Eichel were among the U.S. forward group at this year’s tournament.

Eichel is also one of 18 invited players eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft next week in Florida.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTIRE ROSTER

Matthews, who will likely spend the 2015-16 season playing professionally in Europe, is the top rated prospect for the 2016 NHL Draft. Five players invited are eligible for next year’s draft.

The Americans have medaled in three of the past six world junior tournaments. The U.S. took home gold medals in 2013 and 2010, and bronze in 2011. Team USA finished fifth at the 2015 event.

The 2016 world junior championship takes place in Helsinki, Finland from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5.

Related: Here’s the full 2015 NHL Entry Draft order

Report: Jackets’ Milano to join Springfield Falcons this week

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Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano is expected join the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League this week now that his junior season has ended.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Milano could join the AHL club as early as Tuesday.

In his first season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers, Milano had a team-leading 22 goals and 46 assists in 50 games. The 18-year-old also had two goals and four points in five games at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Here’s a look at some of Milano’s work from his rookie season in the OHL:

Columbus is also watching prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand closely.

The Dispatch reports that Bjorkstrand could join the Blue Jackets this season, if injuries persist.

Bjorkstrand’s Portland Winterhawks open the first round of the Western Hockey League playoffs this weekend against the Seattle Thunderbirds.

The 19-year-old had 63 goals and 118 points in 59 regular season games this season.