ESPN presents the best player in the world of the week, celebrating the player who has the best stats, impact or story line to earn the honor. To nominate someone, please email us here by midnight on Monday each week. Photos and context are encouraged!
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (NHL)
Pasta led the NHL with five goals in four games, leading the Bruins to three wins. He added two assists for a seven-point run that earned him player of the week honors. Through Monday, he had 16 goals in 17 games, so let's fire up that "50 in 50" talk before an inevitable slump derails it, just like it does for one player every season.
Jake Zurat, Canisius (MAAC)
Due to injuries and a high-profile transfer, the Canisius men's hockey team found itself with one healthy goalie, sophomore Tucker Weppner, heading into its game against Clarkson. They needed a backup. Maybe someone familiar with wearing a mask and pads, for example. Hey ... didn't Jake Zurat, the catcher for the Canisius baseball team, play hockey in high school? In fact he did, which is why Zurat dressed as the team's backup goalie against Clarkson. And he actually got into the game! The Griffins won 6-3, and Zurat saw some nice action: three saves in 69 seconds of play. Hey, he's legit now; he has his own Elite Prospects page and everything.
Drake Batherson, Belleville Senators (AHL)
For the first time in nearly three years, an AHL player posted a six-point game, and that player was Batherson. He grabbed a six-pack in a 7-6 win on Friday night over the Toronto Marlies, with a goal and five assists. He added a goal on a loss on Saturday. The 20-year-old from Fort Wayne, Indiana, has seven goals and 13 assists in 14 games. The all-time leading NHL scorer from Indiana? John-Michael Liles, with 370 points in 836 games, of course.
Hilary Knight, Team USA
The USWNT continued its international dominance, winning its fourth straight Four Nations Cup title with a 5-2 win over Canada. Knight scored twice in that game and had seven points overall to lead all scorers in the tournament. She was also named one of the "30 under 30" sports figures for Forbes, one of seven women to make the cut. Did you know she was a pitch woman for Chobani? Neither did we.
Jason Robertson, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Robertson played three games last week. He scored six goals and three assists, which included two hat tricks. How good has he been? He's currently sixth in OHL in scoring with 33 points and has accounted for nearly 40 percent of his team's goals while contributing to almost 58 percent of their total offense.
Nikita Pavlychev, Penn State (NCAA)
He's about 6-foot-8 and property of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL draft. He also absolutely wrecked the competition in the past week, with seven points during a sweep of Robert Morris. He has seven goals in nine games and has already surpassed his point total from last season (14) with 16 points. Pavlychev is finally becoming the prospect the Penguins hoped he'd be.
And the best player in the world of the week is ...
Which leads us to your next question: Who is Jay Buselli?
He's an Army veteran and a second-year MBA student at Cornell University's SC Johnson Graduate School of Management. On Nov. 10, he and the captains of the MBA team organized a charity hockey game against Buselli's former team, the Fort Drum Mountaineers. More than 150 fans attended the game at Lynah Rink at Cornell University in Ithaca.
That Fort Drum team consists of active duty and veterans from Fort Drum near Watertown, New York. The charity game? It raised $3,500 for Homes for Our Troops, and there's hope that the "Veteran's Day Classic" can become an annual event.
"Prior to the game, we presented the Fort Drum captains with a flag signed by Johnson hockey players and the Johnson community, thanking the Mountaineers for their service," said Corey Minerva, who nominated Buselli. "I think Jay is very deserving of being recognized for his service, putting this event together and backstopping the Johnson team to a 7-4 win."
For helping to pull this game together and for his exemplary goaltending, Jay Buselli is the best player in the world of the week!