On a night when the defending champions raised their second straight Stanley Cup banner, the most followed team in the league poured in seven goals, and Connor McDavid scored a hat trick, it was pretty tough to stand out.
Wayne Simmonds is probably used to quietly going about his business by now, though, and the Philadelphia Flyers forward did just that to start the 2017-18 season, netting a hat trick of his own versus the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
Simmonds is by no means a flashy player, yet he's among the most prolific goal-scoring wingers the NHL has to offer. His performance versus the Sharks was a prototypical example of what makes him so effective.
Two of Simmonds' goals were scored with the man advantage, both coming off deflections from his office just outside the crease. Last season, Simmonds totaled 16 power-play tallies, the second-highest total in the NHL. Looking at the data, it's easy to identify where he does his damage.
(Chart courtesy: hockeyviz.com)
Simmonds added an empty-netter to complete the third three-goal night of his career, giving him an early advantage in his attempt to reach the 30-goal plateau for a third consecutive season.
Over the past two seasons, Simmonds has combined for 63 goals, which ranks 12th league-wide. He's convincingly outscored Flyers teammates Claude Giroux (36) and Jakub Voracek (31) over that span, and both those players earn over $8 million per season, compared to Simmonds' $3.975-million cap hit. Talk about bang for your buck.
Simmonds' sparkling debut may have fallen through the cracks during a thrilling opening night, but with the way he scores goals, he's bound to catch the hockey world's attention sooner or later.