The first HCA National Player of the Month of the 2018-19 season is Max Johnson (Lakeville, Minn.) from Bowling Green State University. The 5-10, 183-pound forward tied for the NCAA scoring lead with 13 points in October, helping the Falcons go from unranked in preseason polls to No. 9 nationally following a 5-1-1 opening month.
A facilitator as well as a scorer, the sophomore lit the lamp six times (on 18 shots) and handed out seven assists. Johnson also led a potent BGSU power play, paced the country with 10 man-advantage points and tying for tops with five power-play goals.
While playing a challenging opening-month schedule that featured four games against nationally-ranked opponents, Johnson tallied at least on point in six of his seven contests. He opened with a four-point contest (2g-2a) in an 8-2 road win at Mercyhurst on Oct. 6, tallied four assists in a home-and-home against Robert Morris (Oct. 12 and 14), then earned WCHA Forward of the Week honors for a five-point week vs. then-No. 19 Western Michigan and then-No. 4 Ohio State (Oct. 23-27). Johnson scored the game-winning goal in a 4-1 home victory over WMU (Oct. 23), recorded his first career hat trick in an 8-2 road win at OSU (Oct. 26) and picked up an assist in a 2-2 home draw with the Buckeyes (Oct. 27).
Among NCAA skaters with at least four games played in October, Johnson ranked third with 1.86 points-per-game and fifth with 0.86 goals-per-contest.