FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Saturday, April 8, 2017
GLENDALE, ARIZONA --- The Arizona Coyotes announced today the team awards winners for the 2016-17 NHL season. Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata won the BMW Team MVP Award and the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award. Goaltender Mike Smith won the Ganem Jewelers Three-Star Award while Jordan Martinook captured the COX Communications Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy. Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was selected as the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication to the community.
The 35-year-old Vrbata leads the team in goals (20), assists (35) and points (55). He is also first among Coyotes in game-winning goals (4) and shots (232). The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Vrbata appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game on March 9 vs. the Ottawa Senators. He became the 310th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games. Vrbata reached the 20-goal mark for the sixth time in his career and is now eighth in franchise history in goals (157) and 11th in points (343). The veteran forward surpassed the 50-point plateau for the fifth time in his career to win the BMW Team MVP Award. The Coyotes broadcast media along with beat writers from the Arizona Republic and ArizonaSports.com voted for the award.
Additionally, the Mlada Boleslav, CZ native leads the Coyotes in home scoring (12-19-31) and road scoring (8-16-24) to capture the Desert Schools Leading Scorer Award.
Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith has registered a 19-25-9 record with a 2.92 goals-against average (GAA) and a .914 save percentage (SV%) in 2016-17 to win the Ganem Jewelers Three Star Award. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Smith, who was selected to his first NHL All-Star Game this season, has recorded three shutouts and is now first in franchise history with 22 career shutouts with the Coyotes. Smith is now also tied for first in franchise history in games played by a goaltender (311) and is first in saves (8,721). His 128 wins with Arizona rank third in team history. The Kingston, ON native made a franchise-record 58 saves on December 3, 2016 vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets. Smith has been selected as a star in 15 games including seven as the team's first star.
Martinook has collected 11-14-25 in 76 games this season. Entering tonight's game, the 24-year-old forward ranks second among Arizona forwards in shorthanded time-on-ice/game (2:14) and leads team forwards with 68 blocked shots. He is also tied with the most shorthanded points (1-2-3) and is tied with the second-most game-winning goals on the team (2). The Brandon, MB native has established career highs in goals, points and power-play goals this season. Martinook was selected as the COX Communications Jukka Nieminen Memorial Trophy winner for the second consecutive season by fans who voted at ArizonaCoyotes.com.
Ekman-Larsson earned the Gila River Casinos Man of the Year Award for his dedication, commitment and passion for bettering the lives of those in the community during his seventh season as a member of the Coyotes. The 25-year-old defenseman was particularly involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Scottsdale. He helped all branches attend Coyotes games and conducted multiple postgame meet and greets with kids. Ekman-Larsson spent an afternoon at one of the Boys & Girls Club branches where he participated in a branch tour, Q&A with teens and elementary school kids and played PE games, foosball and other fun activities. He also auctioned off a poker night to help raise funds at the Boys and Girls Club of Scottsdale Gala. The Karlskrona, Sweden native has assisted in multiple on-ice hockey clinics through the Coyotes' hockey development program and served as the team's You Can Play representative through the NHL. Additionally, Ekman-Larsson continues to sponsor a suite that provides nonprofits with Coyotes tickets. These tickets have been used by a variety of nonprofits including kids' healthcare organizations, youth empowerment groups, veterans, service men and women (police and fire), schools, etc.