Lightning’s Palat named January’s rookie of the month


After scoring 16 points in 15 games, Tampa Bay forward Ondrej Palat has been named the NHL’s rookie of the month for January.

Palat edged out fellow Bolts rookie Tyler Johnson, who finished with 14 points in 15 games.

The 22-year-old Palat, the youngest player named to the Czech Olympic team, had a tremendous January, opening with a five-game point streak that saw him set a franchise record for longest scoring streak by a rookie (eight games). Just for good measure, Palat finished off the month with a five-game point streak as well.

Palat wasn’t without strong competition for the award, though. Johnson had a tremendous month, as did Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (seven goals, 14 points). A pair of goalies — Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper and Anaheim’s Frederik Andersen — also played extremely well.

With the win, Palat joins Tomas Hertl (October), Marek Mazanec (November) and Martin Jones/Antti Raanta (December co-winners) as this season’s rookie of the month winners.