Star assessments: Evaluating the Avalanche’s top players in 2019-20

Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon is beyond a three-star player. If there were a fourth star, he would have it. And teammates Cale Makar and Ryan Graves, among others, are perhaps equally as important to a club that flirted with the Western Conference regular-season championship before the coronavirus pandemic halted the season.

To help fill the void of no games, here’s a look back at the Avs who have played at least 20 games, with star ratings given to each:

+++-plus C Nathan MacKinnon — Leads team and ranks fifth in NHL scoring with 93 points. A clear-cut Hart Trophy finalist as league MVP, and he should be ready to go after missing the team’s last game before the pause with a lower-body injury.

+++-plus D Cale Makar — Show-stopping rookie averaged 0.88 points-per-game, highest among rookies and fourth among all NHL defensemen.

+++ D Ryan Graves — Has flourished as a top-pair defenseman with Makar and leads the league with a plus-40 rating.

+++ G Pavel Francouz — Tied for fifth in NHL save percentage (.923) and is seventh in goals-against average (2.41).

+++ W Andre Burakovsky — Wanted out of Washington for a new opportunity and has a career-high 20 goals and 45 points in just 58 games.

+++ W Gabe Landeskog — Team captain is its hottest current scorer, with 10 points (three goals) in his last five games. He’s also the ideal leader.

++-plus W Mikko Rantanen — World-class talent has missed 28 games because of two long injury stints but has 41 points in 42 games.