A Look at the Sharks Rookie Class of 2006-07
San Jose’s four rookie Sharks – Joe Pavelski
, Matt Carle, Ryane Clowe
, and Marc-Edourd Vlasic – swam strongly through their first NHL season, making an huge impact on the ice for the Stanley Cup-contending Team Teal.
The young Sharks did it all, whether it was scoring goals, breaking up plays, scrapping for pucks, playing the role of the enforcer, or making game-changing plays.
The success of the youngsters in their first season, coupled with veteran experience, will no doubt help the Sharks as they attempt to play into June.
Below is a look at how each rookie fared in the 2006-07 regular season.
Last season’s Hobey Baker Award winner from the University of Denver opened up his NHL career by scoring the Sharks first goal of the year on Oct. 5 against St. Louis. He set records left and right as he now holds the franchise marks for single-season goals by a rookie defenseman (11), power play goals by a defenseman (8), power play goals by a rookie defenseman (8), and points in a season by a rookie defenseman (42). For his stellar performance on the ice, the Alaska native was selected to the NHL Young Stars Game during the All-Star Week. He appeared in 77 games with the Sharks, picking up 42 points (11 goals and 31 assists), and finished +9, leading all NHL rookie blueliners in scoring.
The big (six-foot-2 – 225 pound) left winger from Newfoundland, who was selected by San Jose in the 6th round of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, was named “Rookie of the Month” in January after leading all rookies with nine goals in 11 games, becoming the first Shark recipient of the award since Evgeni Nabokov in Dec. 2000. He achieved his first career NHL hat trick on Jan. 6 against Columbus. Clowe played 59 games, scoring 34 points (16 goals and 18 assists), which ranked him 10th in the NHL among all rookies. He finished the regular season at +4.
The Stevens Point, Wisc. native was promoted to San Jose from Worcester (AHL) on Nov. 22 and, on the same day, scored his first goal in his first NHL game against Los Angeles. Pavelski proved to be a clutch player as he scored three game-winning goals, one short of tying Niko Dimitrakos for the franchise record among rookies in a single season (4). He ended the regular season having played in 46 games with 28 points (14 goals and 14 assists) and a +4.
After making the Sharks club out of training camp, the young defenseman from Montreal was voted PlayStation “Sharks Rookie of the Year” and led all NHL Rookies in ice time with 22:11. He appeared in 81 games this season, only missing one due to an upper body injury. He finished the regular season second among all NHL Rookies in blocked shots (134). Vlasic posted 26 points (two goals and 23 assists) and had a +13 rating, good for first among all Sharks blueliners.
With players like these coming through the San Jose system, the future remains bright on the ice at HP Pavilion.