The San Jose Sharks announced today that goaltender Antti Niemi
has been selected as the Sharks Foundation “Sharks Player of the Year” in a vote by the Bay Area media.
The Sharks Foundation “Sharks Player of the Year” award is given to the player contributing most to the success of the Sharks in the 2010-11 regular season. The award will be presented prior to tonight’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes at HP Pavilion at San Jose.
Entering play tonight, Niemi is tied for 10th in the League in wins (34), 12th in goals against average (2.41) and tied for fifth in shutouts (6).
Since December 1, Niemi has posted a .926 save percentage and a 2.16 goals against average. He started 34 consecutive games from Jan. 15 thru April 4, going 25-4-4 with a 2.05 goals against average and a .929 save percentage.
Niemi was named the Sharks Foundation player of the month for both January and February, the NHL’s “First Star” for the period ending Feb. 20. and the NHL’s “Second Star” for the month of February.
He was signed as a free agent by San Jose on Sept. 2, 2010 after helping lead the Chicago Blackhawks to the Stanley Cup last season, posting a 16-6 mark in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage along with two shutouts.
The six-foot-two, 210-pound native of Vantaa, Finland was originally signed by the Chicago Blackhawks as a free agent.
The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to meeting the educational, social and cultural needs of our community, with a focus on health, education and character development for Santa Clara County Youth. It offers unique resources and financial support to those organizations that enhance the lives of local youth.
PAST WINNERS OF THE SHARKS FOUNDATION “SHARKS PLAYER OF THE YEAR” AWARD INCLUDE:
2010-11 Antti Niemi
2009-10 Patrick Marleau
2008-09 Patrick Marleau
2007-08 Evgeni Nabokov
2006-07 Joe Thornton
2005-06 Joe Thornton
2003-04 Patrick Marleau
2002-03 Teemu Selanne
2001-02 Mike Ricci
2000-01 Evgeni Nabokov
1999-00 Owen Nolan
1998-99Steve Shields and Mike Vernon
1991-92 Jeff Hackett