#1 Alex Alexeyev
The most likely candidate to make the top six is 2018 first round pick (31st overall) Alex Alexeyev. He has the most NHL experience out of the three with 33 games. He also was re upped for two more seasons early in the offseason.
In 32 games last season, Alexeyev had five assists. He also had 48 blocks and 33 hits while averaging 16:27 minutes of ice time. He played in the first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres where he had two penalty minutes, two hits, and two shots while playing 22:30.
Alexeyev also played in the second preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena. In that game he skated for 20:53, had one shot and had a plus minus of plus one.
He also played Saturday night in the rematch at Detroit. He skated 22:16, had a plus minus of -2 and two hits. After he was called a “fool” by a particular teammate for aspirations to be in the top six, he now gets a legitimate opportunity to do so.
"“It’s what these guys want, right? They want to prove that they’re an everyday NHL player on a good team. So it’s right there; I love that. Not for Joel’s case, but for guys that are just waiting for that one break to be able to get into the lineup, and sometimes it comes in another person’s misfortune.”"
You never want it to come down to someone else’s injury to make the lineup. But unfortunately it’s sports and injuries do happen. But for each of the three players we just talked about, opportunity is knocking. Only three more preseason games left.