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Buffalo Sabres' Victor Olofsson named NHL 'Rookie of the Month' for December

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Thu, Jan 2nd 2020 04:40 pm

Buffalo Sabres right wing Victor Olofsson, who led all rookies in goals (6), points (14), power-play goals (3), power-play points (5) and game-winning goals (2; tied) in 14 games, was named the NHL’s “Rookie of the Month” for December.

Olofsson edged Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (1 goal, 9 assists, for 10 points in 14 games), Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexandre Texier (3/6 – 9 in 14), Chicago Blackhawks left wing Dominik Kubalik (5/3 – 8 in 15), Minnesota Wild defenseman Carson Soucy (4/4 – 8 in 15), Detroit Red Wings left wing Filip Zadina (3-5 – 8 in 12) and Washington Capitals goaltender Ilya Samsonov (4-0-0, 1.71 goals-against average, .927 save percentage) for the honor.

Olofsson started December with three straight multi-point games (2/4 in 3), marking the eighth time in franchise history that a rookie posted multiple points in three or more consecutive games. It was the first such instance by a Buffalo rookie since Tyler Ennis from Jan. 15-20, 2011 (2/4 in 3). Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson was the last NHL rookie to accomplish the feat prior to Olofsson (Dec. 6-11, 2018: 3/6 in 3).

Olofsson, who led rookie forwards in average time on ice (20:31) in December, became the first Sabres rookie with 14 or more points in a calendar month since Tyler Myers had 3/11 for 14 in March 2010 (16 games) en route to claiming the Calder Memorial Trophy.

Olofsson (1.00 point per game) is one of three Sabres rookies in the past 27 years to average at least one point-per-game in a calendar month (minimum 10 games), joining Marcus Foligno (March 2012: 1.00) and Richard Smehlik (December 1992: 1.17).

The 24-year-old native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, leads all rookies in goals (16) and points (34) across 41 contests overall in 2019-20. Buffalo’s ninth and final choice in the 2014 NHL Draft (181st overall), Olofsson also was the October winner of the “Rookie of the Month” Award, while Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar was the winner for November.

•The Sabres, on Friday, announced Olofsson will be out five to six weeks with a lower body injury.

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