NEW YORK (November 2, 2011)
-- Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
, the 18-year-old who scored a goal in his first NHL game and led all rookies in scoring with 11 points (five goals, six assists) in 11 games, has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October.
Nugent-Hopkins edged Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (4-5--9 in 11 games), Buffalo Sabres center Luke Adam (3-6--10 in 10 games), Ottawa Senators left wing Colin Greening (4-4--8 in 12 games) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (4-3--7 in 11 games) for the award.
Making his NHL debut less than four months after being selected first overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, Nugent-Hopkins notched the game-tying goal with 4:55 remaining in regulation as the Oilers rallied for a 2-1 shootout victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in their season opener Oct. 9. He tallied a hat trick in his third career game, in a 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 15, scored his first game-winning goal in a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers Oct. 22 and concluded the month with a pair of assists in a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues Oct. 30. The win extended the Oilers' winning streak to five and lifted the club to first place in the Western Conference.
Nugent-Hopkins entered the 2011 NHL Draft as the top-rated North American skater by the League's Central Scouting Service after leading the Western Hockey League with 75 assists in 69 games for the Red Deer Rebels in 2010-11. The Burnaby, B.C. native became the first WHL player selected first overall since 1996, when the Ottawa Senators tabbed Prince Albert Raiders defenseman Chris Phillips as the top pick.Click here to view Nugent-Hopkins stats & bioEdmonton Oilers hockey is presented in part by the Rexall Family of Pharmacies, Molson Canadian, ATB Financial, TELUS, Cenovus Energy and Ford.