Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny
was named to the 2006-07 NHL All-Rookie Team, the league announced Thursday.
Stastny becomes the sixth player in franchise history to be selected to the All-Rookie Team, joining Bruce Bell in 1984-85, Peter Forsberg in 1994-95, Chris Drury and Milan Hejduk in 1998-99 and John-Michael Liles in 2003-04. The rookie all-star team began in 1982-83.
“I just wanted to come in and try to make the team,” Stastny said. “I worked hard but got a little luck and wound up having a great season. I have to give credit to our coaching staff for having the confidence in me and all my linemates I played with.”
Stastny finished second among NHL rookies in scoring with 78 points, the fourth highest total by a rookie in franchise history. Only his father Peter (109 in 1980-81) and uncles Marian (89 in 1981-82) and Anton (85 in 1980-81) recorded more points in their first season. Stastny was second among league rookies in assists (50) and ranked fourth in goals (28). He shared the NHL rookie lead with six game-winning goals and was one of only two rookies to appear in all 82 games.
Stastny’s season was highlighted by an NHL rookie-record 20-game point streak from Feb. 3 to March 17. Stastny's 20-game streak led all players in 2006-07 and made him just the third person since 1993-94 to record a point streak of at least 20 games, joining Dany Heatley (22 games in 2005-06) and Adam Oates (20 in 1996-97). The 21-year-old Stastny became the third youngest player in NHL history to record a 20-game point streak, following Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky.
The Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks, each with two players named, headline the selections to the 2006-07 NHL All-Rookie Team. Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the conclusion of the regular season.
Named to the All-Rookie Team from the Penguins are forwards Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal. The Sharks' Matt Carle and Marc-Edouard Vlasic earned the two spots on defense, marking the first sweep at the position by one club since Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov were selected in 1991-92. Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny earned a place at forward, while the Dallas Stars' Mike Smith took goaltending honors.
Following is a summary of each NHL All-Rookie Team member's outstanding season:
Mike Smith, Dallas Stars
Smith, 25, appeared in 23 games with the Stars, posting a 12-5-2 record with a 2.23 goals-against-average and a .912 save percentage. He became the first goaltender in franchise history to record a shutout in his NHL debut Oct. 21 at Phoenix (22 saves). He twice was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week, honored on Nov. 26 after going 3-0-0 with a 1.73 goals-against-average, .917 save percentage and one shutout, and on Feb. 12 after posting a 3-0-0 record with a 0.85 goals-against-average and a .967 save percentage.
DEFENSEMEN (in alphabetical order)
Matt Carle, San Jose Sharks
The Sharks received an offensive boost from Carle, who scored the Sharks' first goal of the season on opening night vs. St. Louis Oct. 5 and he finished the month with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists), the third-highest October point total for a rookie defenseman in League history. Carle finished the campaign as the scoring leader among rookie defensemen and sixth among all Sharks with 42 points (11 goals, 31 assists) in 77 games.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose Sharks
Vlasic attended his second NHL training camp last fall and the just-turned 20-year old earned a spot on the Sharks' opening-night roster. The six-foot-one, 195-pound Montreal native posted 26 points (three goals, 23 assists) in 81 games, ranking third among Sharks defensemen in scoring. His +13 rating ranked third on the club, led all Sharks defensemen and was fourth among League rookies. He averaged 22:11 in ice time per game this season, over a minute and a half more than any other rookie and second on the Sharks to Scott Hannan.
FORWARDS (in alphabetical order)
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
Malkin launched his NHL career in memorable fashion, becoming the first player in 89 years to tally goals in each of his first six games. Before Malkin, only three players in NHL history had scored at least one goal in each of their first six (or more) games and all did so in 1917-18, the League's inaugural season. The 20-year-old went on to lead all rookies in goals (33), power-play goals (16), assists (52) and points (85). Malkin showed veteran savvy as a clutch goal-scorer; 25 of his 33 tallies came with the Penguins trailing or tied.
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins
Staal opened training camp as the NHL's youngest player, having just celebrated his 18th birthday. The second overall pick in the 2006 Entry Draft and younger brother of Carolina Hurricanes star Eric Staal, Jordan set an NHL rookie record with seven shorthanded goals, tied for second place among rookie goal-scorers with 29 and became the youngest player in League history to record a hat trick Feb. 10 at Toronto. He also led the Penguins and tied for second among rookies in plus-minus (+16).
Paul Stastny, Colorado Avalanche
Stastny earned a place in the NHL record book in his first NHL season, setting a rookie mark by registering at least a point in 20 consecutive games from Feb. 3 to Mar. 17. Stastny became just the third NHL player since 1993-94 to record a 20-game streak, joining Dany Heatley (22 games) with the Ottawa Senators in 2005-06 and Adam Oates (20) for the Boston Bruins in 1996-97. Stastny finished the season tied for the rookie lead in game-winning goals (six), ranked second in points (78) and power-play goals (11) and was fourth in goals (28).