Although no Sharks players were present for the 2007 NHL Awards Ceremony in Toronto on June 14, two San Jose players still had a night to remember as 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 Nicklas Lidstrom and Vladimir Konstantinov were both named to the squad following the 1991-92 season.
|Carle, 22, led all rookie defensemen and finished sixth among all League rookies in points (11-31=42) in 77 games. |
“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. 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 records, 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 plus-three rating.
Carle joined Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf (2005-06) as the only rookie defensemen with 40-plus points in one season since 1997-98, the only rookie defensemen with 11-plus goals in their first season since 1993-94 and the only rookie defensemen with 8-plus 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 in 1990 and Brian Leetch – New York Rangers, 13 in 1988) by amassing 12 (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.
“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.”
|Vlasic, at 19 years of age, was the youngest defensemen in the League this season. |
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 plus-14 rating was 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.
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.
"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."
The six-foot-one, 195-pound native of Montreal 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).