Matt Duchene: Rookie of the Month, Rookie of the Year?

Zach BolenContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2010

DENVER - NOVEMBER 25:  Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche skates during the game against the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on November 25, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

On Jan. 5, Avalanche center Matt Duchene was named the Rookie of the Month for his December performance. This was Duchene's first time named as Rookie of the Month in a season where's he is wasting no time making a name for himself.

Duchene snagged 13 points in December (five goals, eight assists), beating out Anaheim Ducks' right wing Dan Sexton (11 points), New Jersey Devils' right wing Niclas Bergfors (10 points), Avalanche left wing T.J. Galiardi (eight points), Buffalo Sabres' defenseman Tyler Myers (eight points), and Detroit Red Wings' goaltender Jimmy Howard (6-4-1, 1.90 GAA) to gain the honors.

Duchene opened the month with three points in a losing effort (shootout loss) against the Florida Panthers. In Duchene's previous game on Nov. 30, he also scored two goals, setting an NHL record for consecutive games with multiple goals scored by a rookie.

Duchene's shown his skill all year long in different areas of the game. His power play game time has proved to be quite an entity this season, scoring four and assisting seven. Duchene is third among rookies for face-offs won, with 246, and is one of only two rookies to score a short handed goal this year.

Duchene is quickly becoming a household name for Avs fans, already scoring 29 points in 47 games, representing the fourth best point total on the team. His 29 total season points is the most for rookies at this point in the season.

Duchene is a likely candidate for the Rookie of the Year award, and should be a familiar face to Avalanche fans for years to come.