– The National Hockey League announced today that San Jose Sharks defensemen Matt Carle
and Marc-Edouard Vlasic
were named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. It is only the second time in NHL history that a pair of defensive teammates have been named to the NHL All-Rookie Team. Detroit’s Niklas Lidstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov were both named to the squad following the 1991-92 season.
“Obviously, we are very proud of both players,” said Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. “We’re very excited about their future but they are also very important players on our roster today. Both have great hockey sense and deserve this honor. They represent this organization well and we look forward to their continued growth as players.”
Carle, 22, led all rookie defensemen and finished sixth among all League rookies in points (11-31=42) in 77 games played. Among all League rookies, he was 4th in power play points (8-18=26), power play goals (8) and assists (30). He set several franchise rookie highs, including goals by a rookie defenseman, points by a rookie defenseman and power play goals by a rookie. He was named to the Western Conference YoungStars Team, where he posted two goals and +3 plus/minus rating.
Following the awards announcement, Vlasic was quick to compliment his rookie counterpart.
“Matt (Carle) racked up a lot of points and can move the puck. He belongs on the power play," said Vlasic. "We both can grow more, but we had a fairly good year.”
Carle joined Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf (2005-06) as the only rookie defensemen with 40+ points in one season since 1997-98, the only rookie defensemen with 11+ goals in their first season since 1993-94 and the only rookie defensemen with 8+ power play goals in their first season since 1991-92. Carle accumulated the third-most points in League history for a rookie defenseman in the month of October (Rob Blake – Los Angeles, 14 points in 1990 and Brian Leetch – New York Rangers, 13 points in 1988) by amassing 12 points (2-10=12).
The six-foot, 205-pound native of Anchorage, Alaska was selected by San Jose in the second round (47th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Vlasic, at 19 years of age, was the youngest defenseman in the League this season. He posted 26 points (3-23=26) in 81 games. His 23 assists were tied for seventh among all NHL rookies and also placed him sixth on the Sharks all-time single season list for rookies. His +13 plus/minus rating finished third on the team (first among all blueliners), fourth among all NHL rookies and
second all-time for a Sharks rookie. Vlasic averaged 22:11 in ice time per game, over 1½ minutes more than any other NHL rookie and second overall on the Sharks behind only Scott Hannan.
"I didn’t expect it at all," said Vlasic. "They talk a lot about the other guys, but it’s nice to be named to the All-Rookie Team."
Vlasic, who became the youngest Sharks defenseman to make the team out of training camp since Brad Stuart in 1999-00, was voted by Bay Area media as the PlayStation “Sharks Rookie of the Year”. His 132 blocked shots were second among all NHL rookies and second on the team.
The six-foot-one, 195-pound native of Montreal, Quebec was originally selected by San Jose in the second round (35th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The duo became the fourth and fifth members of the Sharks to be named to the NHL All-Rookie Team joining goaltender Evgeni Nabokov (2000-01), Stuart (1999-00) and forward Jeff Friesen (1994-95). Defenseman Kyle McLaren (1995-96) was also named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team as a member of the Boston Bruins.