Avs’ Rantanen named NHL’s ‘First Star’ for October over superstars Malkin, Kane

Oct 11, 2018; Buffalo, NY, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) takes a shot against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

In recognition of his extraordinary play during the season’s opening month, the NHL named Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen the “First Star” of the month.

In only 12 games, Rantanen handed out 16 assists and tallied a total of 21 points as part of the Avalanche’s top line. Linemates Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog were beneficiaries of most Rantanen’s assists, and the trio has arguably become the most dangerous line in the NHL.

Rantanen scored in each of the first nine games of the season and had five games with more than one point to share the league lead with Landeskog in plus/minus with +14 in October. Only 22 years old, Rantanen ranks eighth in the league in points with 105 in only 93 games played since the start of least season.

Rantanen was trailed by a pair of superstars – Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane – named the second- and third-stars, respectively.

Hailing from Finland but living in Colorado, Rantanen’s countrymen have been celebrating his performance in song, according to the Avalanche.

Rantanen and the Avalanche look to build on their 7-3-2 (16 points) start, as they take a brief trip through Canada, playing Thursday in Calgary and Friday in Vancouver.

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