Steven Stamkos leads the league early with 15 points in eight games. (Getty Images)
The Hockey News player of the week for the period of Oct. 18-24 is Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.
In four games on the week, the reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner (a 2010 tie with Sidney Crosby) notched four goals and nine points in a 2-1-1 quad for the Lightning.
First up against Dallas, Stamkos recorded a goal and two assists with six shots on net, which included two power play points in a 5-4 win against the Dallas Stars.
Three nights later against the Islanders, Stamkos recorded his most minutes so far this season, logging 22:47 of ice time, notching one assist in a 3-2 overtime loss.
On the road in Atlanta for Friday night, Stamkos posted his first hat trick of the season and his second game-winning goal to go along with a plus-2 rating in a 5-2 win. Stamkos put up eight shots and added an assist as well.
Finally on Sunday in a 4-3 loss to Nashville, Stamkos posted an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to four games and logged 20-plus minutes for the fourth time this season with 22:13 of ice time.
In all, Stamkos has eight goals and 15 points through eight games this season to lead the league in scoring. The Lightning are off to a fast 5-2-1 start to lead the Eastern Conference with 11 points in eight games.