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Luukkonen named ECHL Goalie of the Month for November

Rookie has .925 save percentage in 9 appearances

by Jourdon LaBarber @jourdonlabarber / Sabres.com

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November, the league announced Wednesday. 

Luukkonen (second round, 2017) saw the start of his season delayed as he recovered from offseason hip surgery. Since making his debut for the Cincinnati Cyclones on Nov. 2, he has six wins in nine contests and ranks fifth in the league with a .925 save percentage. His 1.88 goals-against average ranks third. 

He posted back-to-back shutouts on Nov. 14 and 16, when he made a combined 55 shots in victories over Allen and Fort Wayne. 

The strong start to his pro career marks a continued progression for the 20-year-old, who dominated in his first North American season with OHL Sudbury in 2018-19. He set Sudbury franchise records in wins (38) and shutouts (6) and became the first European to win the Red Tilson Trophy, awarded to the league's Most Outstanding Player. 

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Luukkonen also won gold with Finland at the 2019 World Junior Championship, where he posted a .932 save percentage in six appearances. 

Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in mid-November that the plan for goalie is simply to get as much work as possible in his first pro season.

"His interaction with Seamus Kotyk, our goalie development coach, has been excellent," Botterill said. "For us, right now, the biggest thing is a young player just making the adjustment to pro is just to get him into as many games as possible down there."

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