ESPN presents the Best Player in the World of the Week, celebrating the player who has the best stats, impact or storyline to earn the honor. To nominate someone, please email us here by midnight on Monday each week. Photos and context are encouraged!
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (NHL)
Ovechkin continued his post-Stanley Cup goal-scoring spree with seven goals in three games last week, which included back-to-back hat tricks (!) in two Capitals wins. He extended his point streak to a career-high 14 games and his goal streak to six games, which was one off Ovechkin's personal best (set during his rookie season).
Also, Canadian pundits now talk freely about Ovechkin being the greatest scorer of all time, with the understanding that he is, in fact, Russian. So this is quite a thing.
Dante Hannoun, Victoria Royals (WHL)
Hannoun collected nine points (three goals, six assists) in four games this week, with eight of those points coming at even strength. His strong week included a four-point night against the Portland Winterhawks. But more importantly, he has some of the best silly-dressing-room-game skills we've ever witnessed:
I challenge you pic.twitter.com/XVLoJp4i0t
- Dante Hannoun (@hannoun19) November 26, 2018
Challenge not accepted. That looks hard.
Michael Dal Colle, Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL)
Dal Colle had five goals in two games for the Sound Tigers, the New York Islanders' affiliate, last week. That included his first career hat trick. But we're giving the 22-year-old the nod here for his impressive efficiency: Those five goals came on his only five shots during those two games.
Riley Salvatore, U12 house league (Raleigh)
Salvatore plays defense for her under-12 team, which is an "all-boys" team. There are limited options for girls-only hockey around Raleigh, as she didn't want to play on a travel team quite yet. There are only a handful of other girls in the league, and she holds her own against the competition.
She hasn't typically been an offensive force, but that changed last weekend, when she tallied her first career hat trick.
"I'm not sure whose smile was bigger, hers or mine," said her father, John Salvatore.
Mikhail Grigorenko, Russia
Remember Mikhail Grigorenko, formerly of the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche? The CSKA forward led the Channel One Cup in scoring with three goals and three assists as Russia went undefeated on home ice to win its stage of the tournament. That included a game against Finland that drew 71,000 fans to St. Petersburg, a national attendance record. The Euro Hockey Tour will move to Stockholm, Sweden, for the Beijer Hockey Games Feb. 7-10.
John Siemer, Macon Mayhem (SPHL)
The 24-year-old center scored an unassisted goal 20 seconds into the Mayhem's win against Fayetteville on Friday, adding an assist later in the game. He had two more helpers in their win against Pensacola the following night.
That's all well and good. But Siemer makes this list because no other player did the John Cena hand swipe while wearing a holiday-themed jersey this week:
*Turn your volume on pic.twitter.com/F7FJZtuuAC
- Macon Mayhem (@MaconMayhem) December 15, 2018
The lights on the socks are a really nice touch. But another player with Macon ties gets the nod this week.
And the best player in the world of the week is ...
Andrew D'Agostini, Reading Royals (ECHL)
Now, who is Andrew D'Agostini?
Until Thursday, he was a goaltender in the Southern Professional Hockey League, first with the Pensacola Ice Flyers and then with the aforementioned Macon Mayhem. Then he got the call from the Reading Royals of the ECHL, because they didn't have a healthy goalie on their roster heading into the weekend. Which is, you know, sort of important.
D'Agostini is a known commodity in the ECHL, having appeared in 47 games with Brampton over a span of three seasons. But this was going to be a hasty transition: D'Agostini arrived in Reading at 4:30 p.m. on Friday for a 7 p.m. game against the Allen Americans. He started the game, and won, making 27 saves.
The Royals played the Americans again on Saturday night. He started. He won again, making 27 saves.
The Royals played the Americans for a third time on Sunday. He started. He won again, making 31 saves.
That's a 3-0-0 record, in three straight games in three days, giving up seven total goals, after joining the team three hours before opening faceoff from another league.
For this wild ride, goalie Andrew D'Agostini is the Best Player in the World of the Week.
Thanks to Sarah Pietrowski for the tip and the photo.