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Matthews garners NHL Rookie of the Month honors for December


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.


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


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