San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture, who led all rookies in scoring with 14 points (10 goals, four assists), has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for December.
Couture found out before Wednesday’s practice.
“This morning I got a text (from the PR staff) because the NHL Network wanted me to go on as the rookie of the month,” Couture said. “It is a great honor when you look at all the rookies around the league and the success they’ve had. To have it for one month is an honor, but December is over and we’re in January now.”
The hot play was among the best runs Couture has had at the higher levels of hockey.
“When you’re playing well individually and you are helping the team win, it’s great,” Couture said. “That was something I don’t think I’ve ever done before. I’ve had streaks before in junior and the American League last year where it seems like everything you shoot goes in the net. That’s just the way this game goes.”
Couture edged Colorado Avalanche defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (1-7--8 in 14 games), Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (6-5--11 in 12 games) and goaltender Corey Crawford (5-2-1, 2.22 GAA in eight games), Nashville Predators goaltender Anders Lindback (6-2-1, 2.08 GAA in nine games) and Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall (6-4--10 in 13 games). Couture is just the fourth rookie to earn the award, joining Rob Gaudreau, Marco Sturm and Evgeni Nabokov.
Couture, who also was named the Sharks' MVP for December, led the club in goals and ranked second in points. He began the month with a five-game point streak from Dec. 2-9, highlighted by a pair of goals in a 4-0 victory at Ottawa, the city where he starred in junior hockey with the Ottawa 67s of the OHL. He tallied a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-2 win at Detroit Dec. 6 and scored in overtime for his fifth game-winning goal of the season in a 4-3 win at Dallas Dec. 16.
A first-round draft pick (ninth overall) of the Sharks in 2007, Couture leads all rookies in goals (18), shots (129), game-winning goals (five) and power-play goals (five), ranks second in points (27) and is tied for fourth in plus-minus (+8). The 21-year-old Guelph, Ontario native joins goaltenders Michal Neuvirth of the Washington Capitals (October) and Sergei Bobrovsky of the Philadelphia Flyers (November) as Rookie of the Month winners this season.