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Palat wins second straight rookie of the month award

Apr 1, 2014, 3:34 PM EDT


While most expect Nathan MacKinnon to take this year’s Calder Trophy, Ondrej Palat is making a late push for consideration.

The Lightning forward earned his second consecutive rookie of the month award on Tuesday, capturing March honors after winning January’s as well (the NHL didn’t give out awards in Feburary, due to the Winter Olympic break.)

Palat, 23, led all rookies with 16 points in 16 games last month, scoring at least one point in nine of the 16 games while racking up a five-game streak from Mar. 8-17. As a result, Palat is now biting at MacKinnon’s heels on a number of statistical leaderboards for first-year players…

MacKinnon: 74 GP, 23 goals, 33 assists, 56 points, plus-20 rating

Palat: 75 GP, 19 goals, 32 assists, 51 points, plus-27 rating

It’s worth noting Palat has a slight edge in average TOI per game (17:59) to MacKinnon’s 17:04.

As for the March award, a number of other rookies were in the running:

— Calgary’ Joe Colborne (6-5—11 in 16 games),

— Anaheim’s Patrick Maroon (3-8—11 in 14 games)

— Florida’s Nick Bjugstad (1-10—11 in 17 games)

— Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson (5-5—10 in 16 games).

Previous winners of this season’s rookie of the month award were San Jose’s Tomas Hertl (October), Nashville’s Marek Mazanec (November) and Los Angeles’ Martin Jones/Chicago’s Antti Raanta (December co-winners).

  1. lowenni - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    This guy should seriously be in consideration for the Calder. Everyone is saying Mackinnon is gonna run away with it, but if Palat played in a big market they’d be calling it a tie between the two. Trouba looks beyond his years as well. Those are my 3 picks.

  2. hockey412 - Apr 1, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    It would be nice if they’d break offense and defense up for this thing (have an award for rookie d-man), only because it’d be nice to see Trouba, Krug, Maatta, Lindholm etc., get some type of recognition.

    Tampa has two guys in the top 3 in rookie scoring….and then there’s a 10 point gap. Good time to be a TBL fan, I suppose!

    • ctcork - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Seriously. I’m so happy I have a reason to grow a playoff beard again.

      • letsgolightning - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:01 PM

        Agreed! It’s been too long.

    • jpelle82 - Apr 1, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      yeah it would be better if they had def player of the year and off player of the year for veterans as well. all the awards are too heavily weighted towards offense….even the selke…you have to have a certain number of points to even qualify there it seems

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

    I agree with Hockey & jpele; there should definitely be an offensive & defensive rookie awards similarily to the NFL & their offensive & defensive rookies of the year

  4. djshnooks - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Break it up to get defensemen recognition?

    Tyler Myers laughs at that thought.

    You have to be a dominant, elite defensemen to win that award as a rookie. Maybe he’s not quite back to that level, but he’s sure getting there this year…he has nowhere to go but up and his Calder year was better than ANY rookie this year.

    (Rookie d-men that is.)

  5. killhowe - Apr 2, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Palat also plays an average 2:01 on the PK every game compared to MacKinnons 0:15. Palat has more blocked shots, hits, takeaways. BTW, did anyone see him block Subbans shots tonight? Just wow. He really is a great two-way forward who does it all. Hardly see that effort from a rookie. If this award goes to the best offensive rookie than Mac wins, but if it goes to the most rounded player I give that edge to Palat.

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