Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins each has been named Sportsman of the Year in his country.
Draisaitl, who was voted the Hart Trophy winner for last season as NHL MVP, is the first ice hockey player to win the award in Germany. The 25-year-old center led the NHL with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games. He also led the NHL with 1.55 points per game and 44 power-play points (16 goals, 28 assists).
The annual award, voted on by sports journalists, has been given since 1947.
Draisaitl also won the Ted Lindsay Award as most outstanding player last season in voting by the NHL Players’ Association. He was first among forwards in ice time per game (22:37), tied with Pastrnak for first in game-winning goals (10), and was second in even-strength points (66) and power-play goals (16). Draisaitl had 33 multipoint games and scored at least one point in 56 of 71 games. He had six points (three goals, three assists) in six postseason games for Edmonton, which lost in four games to the Chicago Blackhawks in the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
“What a great honor for me to be voted by so many journalists,” Draisaitl wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for your votes and support. It’s been an incredible year and I am very proud to finish 2020 as Germany’s Athlete of the Year.”
Pastrnak won the sportsman award in the Czech Republic. The 24-year-old forward shared the Rocket Richard Trophy with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals after they tied for the NHL lead with 48 goals last season. He also scored 95 points in 70 games, leading Boston in scoring and tying New York Rangers forward Artemi Panarin for third in the NHL. Pastrnak scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 10 postseason games for the Bruins, who were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the Eastern Conference Second Round.
Voted on by members of the Czech Sports Journalist Association, the award has been given since 1959. Pastrnak is the fourth hockey player to win, joining goalies Josef Mikolas (1961) and Dominik Hasek (1994, 1998), and forward Jaromir Jagr (2005).
“I would never imagine that I could win the Sportsman of the Year award in the Czech Republic,” Pastrnak said. “In hockey, the biggest prize is the success of the whole team, but to have my name on this trophy with such a great history is something amazing.”
Pastrnak is not expected to play until February after he had a right hip arthroscopy and labral repair Sept. 16. The Bruins said he was expected to need about five months to recover and that his rehabilitation is going well.
The 2020-21 season is scheduled to begin Jan. 13, 2021.
“Everything goes according to the plan,” Pastrnak said. “It looks like the rehabilitation process will still need around a month and a half. But I am young so maybe I will be able to come back earlier.”
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ondrej Palat finished sixth in the Czech Republic award voting. He scored 41 points (17 goals, 24 assists) in 69 regular-season games and 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 25 postseason games, helping the Lightning win the Stanley Cup.