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Hartikainen top rookie for January

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Oklahoma City Barons left wing Teemu Hartikainen has been named the Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month for January. Hartikainen notched four goals and 10 assists for 14 points along with a plus-8 rating in 15 games for the Barons last month.

Hartikainen, who entered January with 18 points and a minus-9 rating through 35 games, began the month by assisting on the game-winning goal in Oklahoma City’s 2-1 win over Rockford on Jan. 1. He had five points during a two-game visit to Peoria, registering two assists in a 7-2 win on Jan. 13 and a goal and two assists in the Barons’ 4-1 victory on Jan. 14. Hartikainen later scored goals in back-to-back games, finding the net on Jan. 26 vs. Chicago and Jan. 28 vs. Texas.

In recognition of his achievement, Hartikainen will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Barons home game.

A 20-year-old native of Kuopio, Finland, Hartikainen is now tied for third among AHL rookies in both goals (14) and points (32) while skating in all 50 games to date for Oklahoma City. Hartikainen was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the sixth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Other nominees for Reebok/AHL Rookie of the Month include Abbotsford center Lance Bouma, Binghamton left wing Colin Greening, Bridgeport center David Ullstrom, Charlotte center Zac Dalpe, Chicago center Ryan Garbutt, Hamilton forward Alexander Avtsin, Lake Erie center Mark Olver, Manchester goaltender Martin Jones, Manitoba left wing Bill Sweatt, Milwaukee center Blake Geoffrion, Portland right wing Maxime Legault, Providence right wing Jordan Caron, Rochester center Scott Timmins, Rockford let wing Kyle Beach, San Antonio defenseman Maxim Goncharov, Syracuse center Nick Bonino, Texas right wing Sean Backman, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Carl Sneep and Worcester defenseman Nick Schaus.