The Boston Bruins announced Thursday that rookie Milan Lucic has won the 2007-2008 Seventh Player award.
The Seventh Player award, awarded annually to the player who has outperformed expectations, was given to the right winger prior to Thursday's game at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Coming into the season, Lucic was projected to be a third or fourth liner and to contribute physically with fights and hits more than points. But the Bruin's young enforcer has compiled 7 goals and 18 assists for 25 points, good for tenth on the team.
Lucic has not disappointed to those who expected a fighter. The rookie is second on the team in penalty minutes with 85. He has also wowed fans with dazzling displays of strength, often setting the tone for games with a huge hit or fight. In the March 8th game against the Washington Capitals, after giving up ten goals in the previous game, Lucic dropped the gloves as the pucked dropped and proceded to pummel Washington's Matt Bradley. The Bruins won that game with two last-minute goals, and remain two points ahead of the Capitals in the standings.
The Seventh Player award isn't Lucic's only honor this season. The young winger was named one of the NHL's Young Stars, and participated in the All-Star break festivities.
Along with being a terrific interview, the 19 year old has shown terrific leadership ability. In August, Lucic was named the captain of Team Canada in the 2007 Super Series against Russia. Lucic's team went 7-0-1 and won the series.
With the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, Lucic won the 2007 Memorial Cup, awarded to the champion of the CHL. Lucic was also named the MVP of the Memorial Cup Tournament, leading the tournament in scoring with 7 points.
Lucic, along with young players Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Mark Stuart and Vladimir Sobotka, has contributed greatly to the team despite his young age. With prospects Tuukka Rask, Zach Hamill and Matt Lashoff showing promise, the future looks bright in Boston.