Make it two NHL Rookie of the Month Awards for Brock Boeser, as the 20-year-old was named the December winner on Tuesday.
It was a December to remember for the 20-year-old Canucks star, who led all rookies with eight goals and ranked second with 13 points in 13 games. Boeser is just the second player in the last five years for win the monthly honour in consecutive months. Connor McDavid was the other.
No other Canucks rookie has ever won it in back-to-back months. Pavel Bure won it only once.
December was perhaps Boeser’s most impressive month.
Playing without injured linemates Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi for the majority of the month, he didn’t miss a beat. Despite his team’s struggles, Boeser registered at least a point in nine of 13 games. On many nights, he was the lone bright light, factoring in on 39.4% of the Canucks’ goals.
Boeser gave everyone a scare on December 17, when it appeared he would miss significant time with a foot injury. Instead, he didn’t miss a game, returning three nights later.
Remarkably, he scored his 20th goal of the season before Christmas, in his 34th game. Only Eric Lindros (26 games), Teemu Selanne (27), and Alex Ovechkin (33) have achieved the feat as a rookie in fewer games since 1991-92.
Finding chemistry with Sam Gagner and Thomas Vanek, he scored four points (1-3-4) in a single game on December 28.
Boeser edged out Boston’s Danton Heinen (14 points in 14 games), New York Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (12 points in 14 games), Columbus’ Pierre-Luc Dubois (12 points in 14 games), and Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde (9 points in 12 games) for the honour.
The 2015 first rounder currently leads all rookies in scoring, two points ahead of Barzal. He’s seven goals ahead of Arizona’s Clayton Keller.
Barring injury, Boeser is a shoe-in to be the Canucks’ representative at the NHL All-Star Game, given he currently holds a 10-point lead in team scoring.
He should be considered the favourite at this point in the Calder Trophy race. And don’t look now, but the Burnsville, Minnesota native is in the Rocket Richard race too, ranking fourth in goals – just four behind Nikita Kucherov.