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Rantanen Named NHL's First Star of October

The right wing registered five goals and 16 assists in the month

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen has been named the NHL's First Star for the month of October, the league announced on Thursday.

Rantanen finished the first month of the season with 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) in 12 games, a career high for a single month. He leads the league in scoring and assists and is tied with teammate Gabriel Landeskog with an NHL-high plus-14 rating.

The Nousiainen, Finland, native is the first Avalanche player to lead the NHL in scoring through the end of October since Joe Sakic in 1996-97. His 21 points and 16 assists equal the Colorado records for both categories in the 10th month of the year, each set by Sakic in 1996.

Rantanen's 16 helpers were the most in a single month by an Avs player since 2002-03 when Peter Forsberg had three such months.

Video: COL@NJD: Landeskog records hat trick, puts Avs ahead

The 22-year-old had five multi-point games in the month and matched his career high with two four-point performances. His first four-point game came in the Avalanche's 5-3 win at the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 18 when he scored and assisted on each of Gabriel Landeskog's three goals.

Rantanen recorded one goal and three assists again on Oct. 26 to help the Avalanche defeat the Ottawa Senators 6-3 at Pepsi Center. He now has five outings in which he has recorded four points, all coming since the start of 2017-18, the most of any player in the NHL.

The right wing also registered his fifth career multi-goal games, finding the back of the net twice in Colorado's 4-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 22.

Video: COL@PHI: Rantanen nets MacKinnon's feed for PPG

Rantanen and linemate Nathan MacKinnon each tallied a point in each of their first nine games of the season, matching the longest scoring streak to begin a year in Avalanche history (since 1995-96), previously set by John-Michael Liles in 2010-11.

Rantanen recorded an assist in each of his first eight games, Oct. 4-20, the second-longest assist streak to open a campaign in franchise history.

He was named the NHL's third star for the week of Oct. 22-28 after he registered three goals and four assists in four games and tied for the league lead in points for that timespan.

This is Rantanen's first NHL Three Stars of the month honor and the seventh time the Avalanche has had a player receive the accolade. It is the team's first since Jonathan Bernier was named the third star in January 2018. MacKinnon was named the league's First Star in November 2017.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was named the league's second star for October and Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane earned third star honors.

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