The NHL announced that Chicago Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik as the “Rookie of the Month” for January after he scored 10 goals and 14 points in 10 games. Kubalik, whose rights were acquired from Los Angeles for a fifth-round pick more than a year ago, signed with the team and currently has 21 goals and 32 points in his rookie campaign.
The 24-year-old, in fact, was second in the NHL in goals scored in January, behind Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. Kubalik beat out goaltenders Elvis Merzlikins and Ilya Samsonov, as well as defensemen, Adam Fox, Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar in January.
- With rumors starting to surface that the Montreal Canadiens could consider moving defenseman Jeff Petry at the trade deadline, it could be one of the biggest trade chips if they wanted to move him. Besides being a solid blueliner, Petry has another year on his contract worth $5.5MM, making him a better option for teams that want to avoid rentals. However, Petry has made it clear he would like to remain in Montreal. “From the day I got here, it’s been a special place for me here,” said Petry (via Sportsnet’s Eric Engels). “Getting to play in the playoffs the first time here was incredible and I honestly believe I don’t think there is a better place to win that it would be here. I think, like I said, we have our work cut out for us this year. But I still believe this group can do it.”
- Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription required) takes a look at all the assets the Tampa Bay Lightning might have at their disposal at the trade deadline. One of the top names on his list is forward Mathieu Joseph, who had an impressive rookie campaign last season. The 22-year-old surprised many last year when he made the team out of training camp and put up 13 goals and 26 points. However, his sophomore campaign has been disappointing and he is now trying to find his game with the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL. However, Smith notes that many teams are interested in a NHL-experienced player who possesses speed and defensive ability and has a good chance to find his game sooner than later. Joseph currently has three goals and 12 points in 16 AHL games.
- The Arizona Coyotes announced they will be without defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson Saturday after he suffered a lower-body injury Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Coyotes blueliner went down after taking a hit from the Kings’ Dustin Brown and was forced to leave the game. He is considered day-to-day.
- The Athletic’s George Richards reports that Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov will undergo an MRI Sunday after going down during today’s game against Montreal with what appears to be a left knee injury. Barkov has only missed two games in the past three years. Head coach Joel Quenneville did say he believed the injury was not serious.