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Kane Named Sharks Player of the Year, Here’s My Vote

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Credit: NBCS Bay Area

The San Jose Sharks announced their 2020-21 season awards today.

Here’s how I voted — we were asked to vote top-3 for San Jose Sharks Player of the Year and “Media Good Guy”, top-2 for Rookie of the Year.

Player of the Year (in this order): Evander Kane, Tomas Hertl, Brent Burns

Kane was the obvious choice here. Meanwhile, Hertl came back from an okay (but still productive) first half to enjoy a strong second half of the season. And while Burns’s offensive numbers weren’t quite there, I gave him a lot of credit for soaking up a lot of minutes and taking on more of a defensive role at the probable expense of his points (for example, look at his drop in Offensive Zone Faceoffs Per 60 at 5-on-5 compared to the DeBoer era).

Rookie of the Year: Nikolai Knyzhov, Alexander Barabanov

Again, Knyzhov was the obvious choice here as a rookie who played top-four defensive minutes and didn’t look completely overmatched doing it. Barabanov over John Leonard might be a little controversial, just based on games played in teal, but I would argue that Barabanov played as many high-impact games as a member of the San Jose Sharks (over just 9 appearances) as Leonard (in 44 games). That’s no knock on Leonard, who showed a ton of promise, but the older Barabanov has a lot more pro experience than Leonard, and it showed this year.

“Media Good Guy”: Logan Couture, Hertl, Erik Karlsson

Per the San Jose Sharks, this was the criteria for this honor: “The award is presented annually to the player who handles his media responsibilities with cooperation, honesty and thoughtfulness, and answers the bell no matter the outcome or situation.” For those of you who watch the press conferences, what are your thoughts?

So here’s my vote; how would you have voted?

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