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And The Winner Is.....

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
Recapping the Sharks 2006-07 Award Winners
 
Leading scorer Joe Thornton and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic were the big winners of the Sharks end of the season awards, selected by a poll of Bay Area media.
 
For the second consecutive season, Joe Thornton was chosen as the Seagate Technology “Sharks Player of the Year.”  He becomes only the second Sharks player to win the award twice (Mike Vernon, 1997-98 and a co-winner in 1998-99 with Steve Shields).
 
Joe ThorntonSeagate Technology will donate $5,000 on behalf of Thornton to The Sharks Foundation in honor of his selection, which is given to the player contributing most to the success of the Sharks in the 2006-07 regular season. The award was presented prior to the April 7 game against the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion at San Jose.
 
Thornton finished second in the NHL and led the Sharks with 114 points (22 goals, 92 assists). He led the NHL in assists and set a Sharks record for most assists in a game (and a period) with four on April 1 vs. Los Angeles.
 
On April 5, Thornton became just the third player in NHL history to record back-to-back 90-assist seasons, along with Wayne Gretzky (12 times, 1980-81 through 1991-92) and Mario Lemieux (1987-88 and 1988-89). He has also set new Sharks franchise records for points and assists in a single season.
 
During the 2006-07 season, Thornton was the Seagate Technology “Sharks Player of the Month” for the months of December and February and was recognized by the NHL during the weeks of Jan. 8 (third star of the week), March 18 (first star) and for the month of March (second star). He also made his fourth career and consecutive NHL All-Star Game appearance.
 
He has recorded 206 points (42 goals, 163 assists) in just 140 games with the Sharks (1.47 PPG) since being acquired on Nov. 30, 2005.
 
Thornton was also the recipient of the PlayStation “Three Stars of the Year” Award. Each player who receives a “star of the game” recognition are issued five points for a “first star,” three points as the “second star” and one point as the “third star.”
 
In a photo finish, Thornton edged Captain Patrick Marleau on the final day of the season, earning first star honors with his three points against the Vancouver Canucks.
 
Marc-Edouard VlasicVlasic was chosen as the PlayStation “Sharks Rookie of the Year.”  After appearing in his second training camp this fall and impressing enough to earn then-19-year old a roster spot on a Stanley Cup-challenging Sharks team, Vlasic went on to have a stellar season as arguably the Sharks best defenseman.
 
Vlasic was honored with the award in a videotaped presentation prior to the April 7 game against the Vancouver Canucks at HP Pavilion at San Jose. On Vlasic’s behalf, Sony Computer Entertainment presented a check for $2,500 to The Sharks Foundation.
 
In 81 games this season, Vlasic posted 26 points (two goals, 23 assists) which is third among all Sharks defensemen. His 23 assists rank him sixth on the Sharks all-time single season list for rookies and is tied for seventh among all NHL rookies. His +13 rating is third on the team (first among all blueliners), fourth among all NHL rookies and second all-time for a Sharks rookie. He averaged 22:11 in ice time per game this season, which is over 1½ minutes more than any other NHL rookie and second overall on the Sharks, behind only Scott Hannan.
 
Vlasic was also second among all NHL rookies in blocked shots (132) and second on the team. In addition, he took only 18 penalty minutes this season.
 
The six-foot-one, 195-pound blueliner from Montreal was originally selected by the Sharks in the second round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (35th overall, previously acquired from Calgary in exchange for G Miikka Kiprusoff).
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