Connor McDavid named NHL's rookie of month for October
Speedy centre had 12 points in 12 games after slow start
Connor McDavid is the NHL's rookie of the month for October after putting up five goals and seven assists in his first 12 games for the Edmonton Oilers.
McDavid stood out in a strong class of rookies, which includes Max Domi of the Arizona Coyotes (11 points in 11 games), Artem Panarin of the Chicago Blackhawks (10 points in 11 games), Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets (eight points in 11 games) and Colton Parayko of the St. Louis Blues (seven points in 11 games).
McDavid's October production
- Oct. 8 at St. Louis: zero points in 3-1 loss
- Oct. 10 at Nashville: zero points in 2-0 loss
- Oct. 13 at Dallas: One goal in 4-2 loss
- Oct. 15 vs. St. Louis: zero points in 4-2 loss
- Oct. 17 at Calgary: two goals, one assist in 5-2 win
- Oct. 18 at Vancouver: One assist in 2-1 OT win
- Oct. 21 vs. Detroit: One goal in 3-1 win
- Oct. 23 vs. Washington: One goal, one assist in 7-4 loss
- Oct. 25 vs. Los Angeles: One assist in 3-2 loss
- Oct. 27 at Minnesota: One assist in 4-3 loss
- Oct. 29 vs. Montreal: Two assists in 4-3 win
- Oct. 31 vs. Calgary: zero points in 5-4 loss
The 18-year-old acknowledged after Monday's practice that it took only a couple of games to hit his stride.
"I had some ups and downs," McDavid told reporters. "I think with this being the first month in the NHL, you can expect that. It's been a good ride so far."
There is plenty of pressure on McDavid to help Edmonton end its nine-year playoff drought, but he appears up to the task.
Considered the best prospect since Crosby, McDavid was drafted first overall this past summer following a remarkable junior career in which he won Canadian Hockey League player of the year honours last season and dominated the Ontario Hockey League, scoring 44 goals and 120 points in 47 games.
I just feel more confident. I know what to expect going in to a game now. Just the overall comfort level is the difference.- Connor McDavid after being named NHL rookie of the month
McDavid carried his strong play immediately to the NHL with five assists in as many pre-season contests.
On Saturday, his seven-game points streak (four goals, 11 points) came to an end.
McDavid has fit in well on a line with Nail Yakupov and Benoit Pouliot.
"I just feel more confident," said McDavid. "I know what to expect going in to a game now. You don't know what you don't know … Now I have a better sense of the tempo the physicality of the game. Just the overall comfort level is the difference."
McDavid's 12 points are second in Oilers' scoring to Taylor Hall, who was named the NHL's third star of the week after posting two goals and seven points in three games. He has 13 points on the season.
On Monday, Hall said he, along with his teammates, are starting to figure out what they need to do as a collective group.
He has skated alongside Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the last two games.
"I've never been a good starter," said Hall. "That's something I wanted to change this year. The biggest thing for me, and I'm still focusing on it, is to stay healthy. If I do that, I'm going to be there for my team and produce offence."
With files from CBCSports.ca