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Oilers’ Yakupov named April’s rookie of the month

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Edmonton Oilers forward Nail Yakupov made a strong push for Calder Trophy consideration on Monday by capturing the NHL’s rookie of the month award for April.

Yakupov, 19, scored in seven of 14 games during the month, including his first career hat trick in a 7-2 whipping of Vancouver on Saturday.

All told, the Russian winger scored 11G-4A-15PTS in 14 April games, edging out the likes of Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk (6G, 6A), Calgary’s Sven Baertschi (3G, 8A) and Chicago’s Brandon Saad (4G, 4A) for the monthly honors.

On the year, Yakupov finished atop the NHL’s rookie scoring leaderboard for the season, tied with Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau with 31 points through 48 games.

He also captured the league’s rookie goalscoring title as well — his 17 markers were two more than Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher, who finished with 15.

Here’s a rundown of all the rookie of the month winners this season:

Kings d-man Muzzin named March’s rookie of the month

Panthers’ Huberdeau named February’s rookie of the month

Blues’ Tarasenko named January’s rookie of the month

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.