Just like he was in October, Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is the NHL’s Rookie of the Month.
The Nuge posted 6G-10A-16PTS in 14 games during November, becoming the first player to win Rookie of the Month during his first two months in the league since Evgeni Malkin in 2006.
Of course, Malkin was a 20-year-old rookie that spent two years playing professionally in Russia.
Nugent-Hopkins is 18 and spent the last two years living with a billet family in Red Deer.
As for other rookies that warranted consideration: New Jersey’s Adam Henrique (5 goals, 9 assists), Nashville’s Craig Smith (3 goals, 8 assists) and Buffalo’s Jhonas Enroth (6-4-1, 2.31 goals-against average, .922 save percentage) all had very good Novembers. They just simply couldn’t unseat The Nuge, who is now on pace for 89 points — which would be the most for a rookie since Alex Ovechkin notched 106 in 2005-06.
Speaking of joining elite company, Nugent-Hopkins’ five-assist outing against Chicago on Nov. 19 made him the first 18-year-old in NHL history to accomplish the feat, and just the fourth ever to get five points in a single outing. The other three? Toronto’s Jack Hamilton (Dec. 4, 1943), Winnipeg’s Dale Hawerchuk (March 13, 1982) and Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk (Jan. 19, 2002).
Way to go, Nuge.