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MASON WINS ROOKIE OF THE MONTH

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
NEW YORK (December 2, 2008) -- Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason, who posted a 5-2-1 record with a 2.09 goals-against average, .919 save percentage and two shutouts in eight games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for November. It marks the second consecutive month a Blue Jackets player has earned top rookie honors, following center Derick Brassard in October.

Mason edged Brassard (4-6--10 in 11 games), Toronto Maple Leafs center Mikhail Grabovski (8-5--13 in 13 games), Chicago Blackhawks right wing Kris Versteeg (5-7--12 in 12 games), Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoski (2-5--7 in 12 games) and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (2-5--7 in 13 games) for the award.

The last Kings rookie of the month award winner was Olli Jokinen in November, 1998. Check out a list of all Kings monthly/weekly award winners by clicking here.

Recalled from the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate in Syracuse Nov. 4, Mason posted victories in each of his first three NHL starts. He made 22 saves in a 5-4 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Nov. 5, stopped 34 shots and both shootout attempts in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Nov. 7 and picked up his third win in four nights in a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames Nov. 8. Mason later posted shutout victories over the Atlanta Thrashers (15 saves, Nov. 22) and Washington Capitals (26 saves, Nov. 29).

Mason was Columbus' second pick, 69th overall, in the 2006 Entry Draft. In 2007-08, the 20-year-old Oakville, Ontario native posted a 32-7-3 record with the London Knights and Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League and backstopped Canada to the gold medal at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship by going 5-0-0 with a 1.19 goals-against average and .951 save percentage, earning tournament MVP honors. Earlier this season, Mason underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in September and was sidelined a month before making his professional debut with Syracuse Oct. 29.

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