Leafs centre Matthews named North Division's top player for February

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) celebrates his power play goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammate Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on February 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

NEW YORK - Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews has been named the North Division's player of the month for February.

Matthews led the NHL with 12 goals and placed second with 21 points in 11 games to propel the Maple Leafs to a 9-2-1 February and the top of the league standings.

The 23-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., native leads the NHL with 18 goals through 20 games this season.

He has 176 career goals in 302 contests since making his NHL debut in 2016-17.

Matthews has missed Toronto's last two games with a wrist injury, though he practised Wednesday and said he hopes to be ready for the Maple Leafs' game Wednesday at Edmonton.

Chicago Blackhawks right-wing Patrick Kane (Central Division) , San Jose Sharks centre Logan Couture (West) and Boston Bruins right-wing David Pastrnak (East) are the NHL's other stars of the month.

Meanwhile, Ottawa Senators winger Tim Stutzle was named the NHL's rookie of the month for February.

Stutzle led rookies with seven assists and 10 points in 14 February games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.