Marner becomes third Leaf to win rookie of the month

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What a year for freshmen in Toronto.

On Wednesday, the NHL announced Leafs forward Mitch Marner as January’s rookie of the month, putting him alongside teammates William Nylander (October) and Auston Matthews (December) as winners this season.

The only non-Leaf to capture rookie of the month honors this year? Columbus’ Zach Werenski, who did it in November.

More on Marner, who led all rookies with 11 assists and 15 points in 13 games last month:

Marner edged Carolina Hurricanes right wing Sebastian Aho (8-2—10 in 13 GP), Detroit Red Wings right wing Anthony Mantha (4-6—10 in 14 GP) and Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (4-6—10 in 6 GP) for the honor.

Marner, who also paced all rookies with eight power-play points (0-8—8), registered at least one point in nine of his 13 January appearances, highlighted by five multi-point efforts. That included three assists/points Jan. 7 vs. MTL, matching career highs in both categories.

The fourth overall selection in the 2015 NHL Draft, Marner ranks in the top five among rookies in assists (1st; 29), points (2nd; 41) and goals (t-4th; 12) in 48 games this season. The 19-year-old Markham, Ont., native also places among the rookie leaders in power-play assists (t-1st; 13), game-winning goals (t-2nd; 4), shots on goal (t-2nd; 122) and power-play points (3rd; 14).

Marner’s win was also a historic one for the Leafs. With it, the franchise became the first in NHL history to have three rookie of the month winners in the same season.