Naslund wins Pearson Award

The NHL's players have named Markus Naslund their MVP.

Naslund was awarded Lester B. Pearson Trophy at a ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Thursday.

"I can honestly say this one is special, even though it doesn't get the publicity the Hart Trophy gets," said Vancouver Canucks captain, who is also up for the league's MVP award.

"It's still a neat thing when your peers vote for you," he added.

Named after the former Canadian Prime Minister, it is given to the outstanding player during the regular season as voted on by members of the NHLPA.

Also up for the award were Colorado's Peter Forsberg and Boston's Joe Thornton.

Naslund is the first Swedish-born player to win the award. He appeared in all 82 of the Vancouver Canucks' games this season. He finished the regular season with 48 goals and 104 points. He also lead the league in game winning goals with 12.

Only Forsberg finished with more points.

Forsberg, appeared in 75 games for the Avalanche. The 29 year-old veteran scored 29 goals and 77 assists for an NHL-best 106 points.

Thornton appeared in 77 games for the Bruins. The 23-year-old totalled 36 goals, 65 assists for 101 points -- good for third in NHL scoring behind Forsberg and Naslund.

Calgary Flames forward Jarome Iginla won the Pearson last year. Wayne Gretzky has won the award five times.

The winner receives $20,000 US to donate to a hockey program of his choice as part of the NHLPA's Goals & Dreams fund. Each runner-up designates $10,000 to the grassroots hockey program of their choice.