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Florida Panthers rising star Anton Lundell takes NHL Rookie of the Month

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Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for January as the 2020 first-round pick is now gaining steam when it comes to Calder Trophy consideration. // Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

NEW YORK — Florida Panthers center Anton Lundell was named the NHL’s Rookie of the Month after scoring 17 points off three goals in a terrific 15-game run during the month of January.

Lundell capped off the month with a five-assist performance on Monday in Columbus, setting a franchise single-game record for most assists by a rookie and tying the single-game record for most assists in a game overall.

“He’s been great the whole season,” said captain Sasha Barkov, who now shares the team record for assists in a game with his pal.

“I see he’s taking steps every game and every practice, he has that enthusiasm to learn something every day about hockey and how to play [in the NHL] and you can see how good he’s getting.”

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Lundell’s 17 points set the Florida record for most points in a calendar month, passing Jesse Belanger’s 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) in 12 games.

His total was also the most in a calendar month since Jason Robertson of the Dallas Stars had 17 points in April 2021.

“He’s young, he’s such a smart player and he can play in every situation,” Jonathan Huberdeau said. “He can make some plays and whatever we do is going to be interesting and fun.”

His 17-point month boosted him into Calder Trophy consideration as well — he is now tied for second in points among rookies with 32.

Per betonline.ag, Lundell went from off-the-board in Calder future betting to 40-to-1 on Jan. 3. He is now fourth at 14-1.

Lundell, 20, ranks first among rookies in plus/minus (+26) and is third in assists (22) and points (32).

He is also the Panthers’ first Rookie of the Month since Huberdeau took it in February of 2013.

Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad (2015) are the only Calder winners in Florida history.

Lundell’s impact on the ice goes far past the offensive end, however, as he has played a pivotal role on Florida’s penalty kill, leading all rookie forwards in short-handed time-on-ice with 113:01.

“He is a pretty mature kid,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “He is such a smart, high-IQ kid with a high compete level.

“I have played with a lot of Finnish centers over the years and they are very good two-way players; defensively reliable, do the right things all the time. He fits that mold. And he has a pretty good one to learn from here.”

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