Matt Irwin named SJ Sharks rookie of year

MATT IRWIN NAMED PLAYSTATION®
"SHARKS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR"


SAN JOSE - The San Jose Sharks announced today that defenseman Matt Irwin has been selected as this year's PlayStation® "Sharks Rookie of the Year." Irwin will be recognized in a video presentation during tonight's game against the Dallas Stars at HP Pavilion at San Jose. On behalf of Irwin, Sony Computer Entertainment America will present a check for $2,500 to the Sharks Foundation and Irwin will receive a PlayStation®3 (PS3™) system with a VIP pack of games.

Irwin, 25, has played in 35 games this season, posting 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists), which ranks third among all team defensemen and 5th in the NHL among rookie blueliners. Irwin is also tied for the League lead amongst rookie defensemen in power play goals (4) and 3rd in goals (6).

He posted a three-game goal streak from March 14-18, tying the longest in franchise history for a defenseman and had eight shots on net on March 10 at Colorado, which marked only the 10th time in Sharks history that a defenseman had eight or more shots on net in a game. He also added five shot attempts that were blocked. Irwin scored his first NHL goal on Jan. 26 vs. Colorado and registered his first career NHL point with an assist vs. Phoenix on Jan. 24.

Irwin signed a two-year contract extension with the Sharks on April 3.

The six-foot-two, 210-pound defenseman from Brentwood Bay, B.C. played two-plus seasons with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose's top development affiliate in the American Hockey League, where he was named to the 2012 AHL All-Star Team.

Irwin was originally signed by San Jose as a free agent on March 23, 2010.

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:

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

SHARKS JAMES SHEPPARD NOMINATED FOR MASTERTON TROPHY


San Jose, CA - The San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association announced today that San Jose Sharks forward James Sheppard has been selected as its 2013 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Sheppard, 24, missed two full NHL seasons from 2010-12 after suffering a career-threatening leg injury as a result of an ATV-accident during a guided tour during a summer hockey camp.

After missing all of the 2010-11 season due to the injury, the Sharks acquired him from Minnesota in a trade on Aug. 7, 2011. He spent the 2011-12 season rehabbing his leg and played in four games in Worcester (AHL) on a rehab assignment from Feb. 28 - March 6. At the conclusion of that stint, Sheppard's season was again shut down due to problems with the leg.

A summer of rehabilitation and treatment allowed Sheppard to begin the season in Worcester during the NHL work stoppage. In 34 games, he posted 23 points (8-15=23) which was second-best on the team.

On Jan. 22, Sheppard made his NHL return at Edmonton. It marked his first game since suiting up for the Minnesota Wild on April 8, 2010. His game-winning goal on March 25 at Anaheim was his first as a Shark and first since scoring on Dec. 11, 2009 at Calgary with Minnesota.

In 30 games this season, Sheppard has posted four points (1-3=4) for San Jose and his 58 hits are fifth on the team. He has appeared in 254 career regular season games posting 53 points (12-41=53) over four active seasons.

The six-foot-1, 205-pound native of Halifax, Nova Scotia was selected in the 1st round (9th overall) by Minnesota in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by San Jose from Minnesota on Aug. 7, 2011 in exchange for a third round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft.

The Masterton Trophy winner is selected from a poll of the 30 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and a $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the winner.

The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree, the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died Jan. 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game.

Former Shark Tony Granato received the award in 1997. This year's winner will be named on June 20th at the NHL's annual awards presentation in Las Vegas.

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