NEW YORK – Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau, who led all rookies with eight goals and 13 points in 14 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.
Gaudreau edged Nashville Predators center Filip Forsberg (4-8—12 in 13 GP), Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson (5-2-0, 2.14 GAA, .927 SV%), Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (3-6—9 in 14 GP), Ottawa Senators left wing Mike Hoffman (4-4—8 in 13 GP) and Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta (5-0-0, 1.57 GAA, .949 SV%, 1 SO) for the honor.
Gaudreau, a fourth-round selection (104th overall) by the Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft, recorded his first career hat trick in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 22. At 21 years, 131 days, he became the youngest Flames player to post a hat trick since Dec. 28, 1987 (Joe Nieuwendyk). Gaudreau followed that performance with two goals, including the game-winning marker (his third of the season), in a 4-1 triumph over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 27.
The 21-year-old Salem, N.J., native and reigning Hobey Baker Memorial Award winner ranks second among rookies in goals (12), assists (18) and points (30) in 38 appearances this season. He joins Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson (October) and Forsberg (November) as Rookie of the Month winners in 2014-15.