Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Three Rookies of the Month in One Season

Entering the final week of January, Maple Leaf Mitch Marner is closing in on being named Rookie of the Month for January. Through 10 games, he has 3 goals and 13 points, four points ahead of Brock McGinn and Anthony Mantha. Tied with 8 points are Connor Brown, Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk. If Marner does indeed win the award it will be Toronto's third different Rookie of the Month of the season. This has never happened since the award began in 1983/84.

A few times, a team has won 3 Rookie of the Month Awards in a season, but never three different guys. Below are the teams that have had three:

1984/85 Pittsburgh: Mario Lemieux (2), Warren Young 
During his flash-in-the-pan rookie season, Young garnered November honours by going 11-6-17 in 12 games. 
1986/87 Los Angeles: Jimmy Carson (2), Luc Robitaille
Although Carson won the award twice, Robitaille took home the Calder trophy for the season, Carson finished third in voting behind Ron Hextall.

1992/93 Winnipeg: Teemu Selanne (3)
The Finnish Flash came out of the blocks in a big way notching a stat line of 11-9-20 in his first 12 games in October. He was even better in January going 15-12-17-27 and took home the March/April Rookie award with a crazy 25 goals and 41 points over his final 21 games.

1996/97 Ottawa: Patrick Lalime (2), Wade Redden 
Lalime won the award in both December and January this season going 7-0-1, 1.50 and 8-2-1, 2.42. He would still finish 5th in Calder voting. Redden somehow won the April honours by 2 goals and 3 points in 7 games.

2005/06 Washington: Alex Ovechkin (3)
Ovie swept the award in December, January and February. 

If  Marner wins the January award, the Leafs could conceivably add a fourth Rookie of the Month winner to the list. The aforementioned Connor Brown is actually tops among rookies in January with 5 goals in 10 games, Zach Hyman has 10 points in his last 13 games and even defenceman Nikita Zaitsev has 9 points over his last 16 played. You never know.

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