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Matthews garners NHL Rookie of the Month honors for December

 

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who led all rookies with eight goals and four assists in 12 games, has been named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month for December.

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Matthews edged Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (6-6-12 in 14 GP), Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (1-11-12 in 13 GP), Carolina Hurricanes right wing Sebastian Aho (4-5-9 in 14 GP) and Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray (6-1-1, 2.34 GAA, .926 SV%, 1 SO) for the honor.

Matthews, who also paced all rookies with eight goals, registered at least one point in nine of his 12 December appearances, highlighted by a five-game point streak to close the month (4-3-7). He also recorded three multi-point performances, two power-play goals and one game-winning goal (Dec. 22 at Colorado).

The No. 1 overall selection in the 2016 NHL Draft, Matthews leads all rookies in goals (20), points (32), game-winning goals (t-3) and shots on goal (133) in 36 games this season. The 19-year-old Scottsdale native joins teammate William Nylander (October) and Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski (November) as Rookie of the Month winners in 2016-17.

As a youth, Matthews skated for the Arizona Bobcats, Jr. Coyotes and Lemieux Hockey Academy.

Auston Matthews in December
Date, Opponent, G-A-PTS, Result
Dec. 3, at Vancouver  1-0–1, 3-2 SO L
Dec. 7, MINNESOTA, 0-0–0, 3-2 L
Dec. 10, at Boston, 1-0–1, 4-1 W
Dec. 11, COLORADO, 0-0–0, 3-1 L
Dec. 13, SAN JOSE, 1-1–2, 3-2 SO L
Dec. 15, ARIZONA, 1-0–1, 3-2 SO L
Dec. 17, PITTSBURGH, 0-0–0, 2-1 OT W
Dec. 19, ANAHEIM, 1-0–1, 3-2 L
Dec. 22, at Colorado, 1-0–1, 6-0 W
Dec. 23, at Arizona , 0-1–1, 4-1 W
Dec. 28, at Florida, 1-1–2, 3-2 SO W
Dec. 29 , at Tampa Bay, 1-1–2, 3-2 OT W
Totals, 8-4–12, 6-3-3

Photo/NHL