SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) announced today that forwards Matt Nieto (@matt_nieto) and Tomas Hertl (@tomashertl48) have been selected as this year’s PlayStation® “Sharks Co-Rookies of the Year” in a vote by Bay Area media. It is only the second time in the history of the franchise that two or more players have shared the award in a given year.
Nieto and Hertl will both be recognized in a video presentation during tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center at San Jose. On behalf of the two players, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) will present a check for $2,500 to the Sharks Foundation and both Nieto and Hertl will receive a PlayStation®4 (PS4™) system with a VIP pack of games.
“We are proud to be a sponsor of the San Jose Sharks,” said Guy Longworth, SVP, PlayStation Brand Marketing at SCEA. “The entire Sharks organization works extremely hard to be one of the best teams in the NHL and PlayStation loves to reward team members for their successful efforts. It’s a pleasure to honor these two impressive young players and we can’t wait to follow their careers in the seasons ahead.”
Nieto has recorded 24 points (10-14=24) in 66 games this season. He currently ranks T-17th amongst all rookies in goals and T-21st in points. Nieto also ranks tied-for-second amongst all rookie forwards in blocked shots (45). The 21-year old rookie recorded the first two-goal game of his career on Feb. 3 vs. Philadelphia, and had a career-high four-game point streak (three goals, two assists, +4 rating) from March 8-14.
The 20-year old Hertl has registered 25 points (15-10=25) in 35 games this season, a campaign that was shortened after suffering a knee injury on Dec. 31. At the time of his injury, Hertl ranked first on the team in goals and first amongst all NHL rookies in both goals and points. On Oct. 8 against the New York Rangers, Hertl scored four times, including a between-the-legs highlight reel goal, tying a Sharks franchise record for most goals in a game and setting a new franchise record for fastest four goals in a game (22:46).
Hertl was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for week of Oct. 13 with five goals in three games, and was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October after posting 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in 13 games.
Both players are a part of a short list of 12 players in Sharks franchise history that have scored at least 10 goals and 10 assists in their first NHL season.
Nieto was originally drafted by San Jose in the second round (47th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. Hertl was originally drafted by San Jose in the first round (17th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
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.
PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE PLAYSTATION ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD:
2013-14 Matt Nieto & Tomas Hertl
2012-13 Matt Irwin
2011-12 Andrew Desjardins
2010-11 Logan Couture
2009-10 Jason Demers
2008-09 Tomas Plihal
2007-08 Torrey Mitchell
2006-07 Marc-Edouard Vlasic
2005-06 Milan Michalek
2003-04 Tom Preissing
2002-03 Jim Fahey
2001-02 Matt Bradley
2000-01 Evgeni Nabokov
1999-00 Brad Stuart
1998-99 Alexander Korolyuk
1997-98 Patrick Marleau, Marco Sturm, Andrei Zyuzin
1996-97 Stephen Guolla
1995-96 Marcus Ragnarsson
1994-95 Jeff Friesen