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John Carlson Named NHL’s First Star of the Month

A big month ends with a big honor for the Caps’ blueliner

NHL: OCT 29 Capitals at Maple Leafs Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

John Carlson has been named the NHL’s first star of the month for October after scoring seven goals and 23 points in just 14 games. He is the first Capital to get a star of the month since Evgeny Kuznetsov earned the honor back in February of 2017.

Carlson was “just” third in scoring in the NHL for the month... but with all due respect to second and third stars of the month David Pastrnak (24 points) and Leon Draisaitl (25), the fact that Carlson racked up his points as a defensemen probably helped him overtake that high-scoring duo for top honors. It probably didn’t hurt that Carlson’s 23 points checks in as the second-best October by a defenseman in NHL history, second only to Al MacInnis’s 25-point start to the 1990-91 season.

While Carlson probably isn’t destined to hit the 135 points for which he’s currently on pace, he certainly seems to be on track to demolish his previous career high of 70 points, set last season.

From the League:

FIRST STAR - JOHN CARLSON, D, WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Carlson paced defensemen in goals, assists and points - and ranked third in the entire NHL with 7-16-23 in 14 games - to power the Capitals to the top of the League standings on the strength of their best-ever October (9-2-3, 21 points). Only one blueliner in NHL history has recorded more points in a single October: Calgary’s Al MacInnis in 1990 (8-17-25 in 13 GP). Carlson - who found the scoresheet in 12 of his 14 appearances - registered eight multi-point outings, highlighted by three-point performances Oct. 10 at NSH (0-3-3), Oct. 16 vs. TOR

(1‑2-3) and Oct. 18 vs. NYR (0‑3-3). That helped him establish a franchise record for points by a defenseman in any calendar month, surpassing Sergei Gonchar’s 22 in January 2000 (10‑12-22 in 14 GP), and also match a Washington record for points by any skater in a single October (Alex Ovechkin : 14‑9-23 in 13 GP in 2009). The 29-year-old Natick, Mass., native has collected 97-329-426 in 702 career NHL games (all w/ WSH), tied for the third-most points by any blueliner in Capitals history.

Congrats, Carlson!