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!
Hey, remember when the Bruins were blown out by the Washington Capitals on opening night and basically skated out of the building? Well, Bergeron has helped erase that memory like one of those flashy things from “Men In Black,” scoring four goals and five assists in three games to fuel a four-game winning streak since that poor opener. That included his fourth career hat trick in a 6-3 win over Ottawa, the first time since 1995 that a Bruins player posted a hat trick in the home opener. He’s six goals away from 300 for his career.
Damien Giroux, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
The Spirit scored eight goals last week. Giroux, 18, had a hand in seven of them to win OHL player of the week honors. That included a five-point night in a win over the North Bay Battalion. He had four goals and three assists in two games. He was taken No. 155 overall by the Minnesota Wild back in June.
Lexi Bender, Boston Pride (NWHL)
Bender had a dominating performance in Boston’s 5-1 win over the Riveters on Saturday, carrying the play and adding two assists, to earn player of the week honors in the NWHL. She gets points in our book for being from Snohomish, Washington, and being inspired by Seattle-area players who became some of the nation’s best. She also gets points for enduring what we have to imagine were more than a few comments about having a last name straight from the hockey glossary. Luckily, being a professional player is an easy way to shut that talk down.
Brett Leason, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)
We’re always partial to scorers that can make waves at even strength, so kudos to Leason for notching seven of his eight points in three games without the benefit of special teams. He had five goals and three assists, including two game-winning goals.
Boyd scored his first goal in 10 games this season in the KHL, against Avangard on Sunday. But he’s here because unlike many of the other nominees this week, he really didn’t have to do much to score it. Avangard did the heavy lifting, scoring into its own net on a delayed penalty:
Delayed penalty gone WRONG. pic.twitter.com/w4fIqSSjkR
– KHL (@khl_eng) October 15, 2018
James Miller, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
A defenseman with six points in two games will certainly get your attention. That’s what Miller had for the Vees last week, boosted by a four-point game (two goals, two assists) against the Merritt Centennials. It was the first time he had more than two points in a game as a junior player, which is notable because it’s his fifth season of playing juniors.
And the best player in the world of the week is …
Logan Pyett, Hershey Bears (AHL)
It’s been a long road back to the American Hockey League for Logan Pyett.
He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the seventh round in 2006, and toiled for the Grand Rapids Griffins from 2008-12. Then it was off to the Connecticut Whale for a season, before he began a two-season adventure in the KHL. He returned to North America, and signed a contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the 2015-16 season, but never played a game for the Philadelphia Flyers‘ affiliate: What began as a lump in his left thigh ended up being diagnosed as a tumor. Pyett had synovial sarcoma. He underwent six cycles of chemotherapy and five weeks of radiation, followed by surgery.
He missed that season, as well as the 2016-17 season, discovering that a replaced artery was still blocked and needing more surgery. He found a job playing for the Asia Hockey League’s Tohoku Free Blades in 2017-18, skating in 26 games and getting his confidence back.
Then the Hershey Bears came calling, and Pyett, 30, signed a one-year contract in August. On Oct. 14, he returned to AHL ice for the first time in 2,003 days in a game against Rockford.
I’m not sure if I know how lucky I am. I had to work hard to keep playing hockey but the support I have received is nothing short of incredible. Thank you @NHLFlyers and @LVPhantoms, thank you @Freeblades and thank you @TheHersheyBears. All helped me get back to the sport I love!
– Logan Pyett (@PyettLogan) August 17, 2018
“I feel great … But I’m a veteran guy, just working hard and trying to lead by example with the young guys here. I’m not in a position to be down about things. I just take what comes to me and try and do my best,” he told MLive.com.
For his perseverance and inspiration, Logan Pyett is the Best Player In The World Of The Week. Thanks to reader Emily Schaeffer for the nomination.