Quinn Hughes’ bid for the Calder Trophy is gaining momentum, as the Vancouver Canucks’ 20-year-old phenom has been named NHL Rookie of the Month for February.
This is the first time that Hughes, who leads all first-year players in scoring with 51 points, has won the monthly honour. Hughes scored a league-high 15 points in 13 games in February, well ahead of Calder Trophy rival Cale Makar, who scored 10 points in 15 games.
Makar (0.84 P/GP), who has missed eight games due to injury, still has the edge over Hughes (0.81 P/GP) in points per game, but the Canucks defenceman has narrowed the gap. It was Makar who edged
Hughes is on pace to have one of the highest-scoring seasons ever from a rookie defenceman, which would put him alongside the likes of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, and Ray Bourque.
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The Canucks rookie has had his name mentioned in the breath as Hall of Famers on a regular basis lately. On February 10, Hughes joined Bourque as the only rookie defencemen to post four three-assist games in a season. Then on February 25, Hughes joined Lidstrom as the only blueliners to be the first rookie to reach the 50-point mark in a season.
With 18 games left in the season, Hughes has already set the Canucks rookie record for assists with 43, breaking Dale Tallon’s 49-year-old record. Hughes is just five points back of Tallon’s rookie points record for a Canucks defenceman, and 15 points back of Elias Pettersson’s franchise points record (regardless of position) set last year.