Leafs forward Kessel named top NHL player for October

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has been named the NHL's First Star for the month of October.

Kessel led the National Hockey League with 10 goals and 18 points in only 11 games -- the best start to a season in his six-year career. He totaled a whopping five multi-point efforts, including a four-point game against Ottawa on October 8 (3G, 1A) and a pair of three-point contests: Calgary on October 15 and Winnipeg four days later.

The 24-year-old Wisconsin native helped the Leafs rise to first place in the Northeast Division with a 7-3-1 record.

Second Star honors went to Dallas Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who finished 8-1-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage in nine starts. The 27-year-old Finn allowed two goals or fewer in eight of his nine appearances, helping the Stars to take the Pacific Division lead with an 8-3-0 record.

Edmonton Oilers netminder Nikolai Khabibulin finished with the Third Star. Despite finishing last season with a 10-32-4 record, the 38-year-old Russian has rebounded this season, going 5-0-2 with a 1.12 GAA and one shutout in seven starts.