ESPN presents the Best Player in the World of the Week, celebrating the player that 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!
Jett Woo, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Jett Woo is, at this moment, a top-five name in hockey, no debate. He's also the WHL player of the week for his seven points (one goal, six assists) in three games for the Warriors. That included the first four-point game of his WHL career, with a goal and three assists. Jett's on the runway for the Vancouver Canucks, who selected him No. 37 overall in the 2018 draft. And yes, we know that pun is bad, and yes, he's just going to have to get used to this when he makes the NHL.
Martin Necas, Charlotte Checkers (AHL)
While he didn't stick around with the Hurricanes this season, the AHL rookie is lighting it up on the farm. Necas matched a franchise record with four assists and helped the Checkers erase a two-goal deficit in a 7-4 win over Hartford on Friday. He followed that up with three more assists the next night against the Springfield Thunderbirds, including one on the overtime game winner. Seven points in two games for the 12th overall pick in 2017 -- not too shabby.
Kaleigh Fratkin, Boston Pride (NWHL)
The defender's power-play goal in the third period broke a 2-2 tie with the Riveters on Sunday and led Boston to a 5-2 victory. That earned her player of the week honors, but we'd also like to note that she's the only player in NWHL history to have played for three of the league's five franchises. She's basically the Mike Sillinger of a 4-year-old league.
Vitali Mikhailov, Oklahoma City Jr. Blazers (WSHL)
This is Mikhailov's second appearance in the Best Player in the World of the Week column, and for good reason. He had six goals and eight assists in a three-game sweep of the Wichita Jr. Thunder. That's 14 points in three games, which is pretty good for the 20-year-old from Cherepovets, Russia. It's also as many points as Ilya Kovalchuk scored in 25 games for the Kings this season. Our thanks to Candace Riley, who also took the photo.
Alex Hart, Millbrook Knights 14U (Millbrook, N.Y.)
Reader Bill Winters offers this tale: "In a game I officiated last weekend, a player on the visiting Scarsdale team broke his stick and had no spare. He also couldn't borrow from a teammate due to size differences. Hart loaned his opponent a stick without hesitation. Of course, using his opponent's stick, the young man from Scarsdale scored two goals to keep the game close, but Millbrook did eventually win. I usually don't see that type of sportsmanship in games I officiate. I thought Hart deserved to be recognized." And so do we.
Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
We swear there was, like, a minute when Pettersson's status as Calder Trophy front-runner was being threatened. Oh well. He was the NHL's first star of the week after notching two goals and six assists in three games, and he now has 30 points in 26 games, while no other rookie has more than 19. He's pretty good.
And the best player in the world of the week is ...
Now, we like to warn you ahead of time when it's about to get dusty up in here, so consider this your warning.
Anderson, 10, got his first hockey stick as a 1-year-old. He was signed up for the inaugural year of the Dallas Stars' "Little Rookies" program and met players like Mike Modano and Tyler Seguin, which cemented his hockey fandom.
He was also born with a heart condition, and he had his second major surgery back in May. In the hospital, he helped cope during the recovery by pushing a foam ball around the hallways with his stick. Hockey kept him going.
On Saturday, Anderson was invited to drop the ceremonial puck before the Stars' game against the San Jose Sharks.
- FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) December 8, 2018
That kind of wish being granted is incredible enough. But there was another one. The Dallas Stars Foundation and Make-a-Wish North Texas are partnering to grant his ultimate wish: On Jan. 16, 2019, McDuffie's youth hockey team -- incredibly, the team is called the EKGs -- will play against the Stars in a scrimmage.
For his perseverance and for his love of the game, Anderson McDuffie is ESPN's Best Player in the World of the Week.