Blues’ Tarasenko named rookie of the month

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No surprise that, after leading all first-year players in scoring for January, St. Louis winger Vladimir Tarasenko has been named the NHL’s rookie of the month.

Tarasenko, 21, had points in six of seven games (5G-4A-9PTS total) and became the first Blues rookie in nearly 35 years to record five points in his first two NHL games (Wayne Babych did it in 1978-79.)

Selected 16th overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Tarasenko is a big reason why the Blues are off to an impressive 6-2-0 start. He’s leading the team in scoring through eight games, with 10 points, and also leads all skaters in plus-minus (plus-6) and even-strength goals (four).

That said, he faced some stiff competition for January’s rookie award.

Tampa Bay’s Cory Conacher also posted nine points (3G-6A) while Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz led all rookie defensemen in scoring — 2G-3A — while averaging 22:34 per game, tops among all first-year players.

Other rookies in the running included Edmonton’s Nail Yakupov (four goals in seven games) and Montreal center Alex Galchenyuk (five points in six games).