Barberio a Finalist for Top Defenseman Award

Lightning prospect Mark Barberio, a 2008 sixth round pick of the Bolts, has been named by the QMJHL as a finalist for the Emile "Butch" Bouchard Trophy, awarded to the league's top defenseman.

Joining Barberio as finalists are his Moncton teammate David Savard, a 2009 fourth round pick of the Blue Jackets, and Joël Chouinard of Drummondville, a sixth round pick of Colorado in 2008.

Barberio set career highs in goals, assists, points, and plus/minus this season, finishing with 17 goals, 43 assists, 60 points, and a plus-39 rating. He finished fifth in the league in points among defensemen, sixth in goals, fifth in assists, and seventh in plus/minus.

Savard led all QMJHL defensemen in scoring with 77 points (13 goals, plus-32) and Chouinard was second with 68 (23 goals, plus-23).

The last Lightning prospect* to win this award was Gatineau's Doug O'Brien in 2003-04. O'Brien, a 2003 sixth round pick, was signed and later traded to Anaheim for Joe Rullier. He played five games for Tampa Bay in 2005-06 and played last season with HC Plzen in the Czech Republic.

Notable players to win the award include Dmitry Kulikov (Panthers) in 2009, Kris Letang (Penguins) in 2007, Keith Yandle (Coyotes) in 2006, Marc-Andre Bergeron (Canadiens) in 2001, Stephane Robidas (Stars) in 1997, and Patrice Brisebois in 1991.

The 2010 Emile "Butch" Bouchard Trophy will be awarded March 31.

* = Mario Scalzo won the award the year after O'Brien, but was not property of the Lightning at that time. He was undrafted, signed by Dallas, and traded to Tampa Bay two years later. He played one year in Norfolk and skated this past year in Germany.