SAM Walsh has claimed what looms as the first of many John Nicholls medals as the ultimate reward for a breakout 2021.
Walsh, who grew up at Cobden before shifting to Geelong, polled 183 votes to defeat second-placed Jacob Weitering on 173 and Coleman medallist Harry McKay on 118 in Thursday night's virtual event.
The 21-year-old also took out the Bill Lanyon Inner Blue Ruthless Award, recognising his bravery, resilience and commitment each week.
Walsh also claimed the Carltonians' William A. Cook Trophy after the club's longest serving and premier match-day coterie voted him the Blues' best and fairest for the second-successive year.
Carlton head of football Brad Lloyd said Walsh was destined to enter the club's best and fairest ranks.
"When Sam was drafted to our football club in 2018 he was determined to succeed and make an impact in the navy blue and tonight serves as recognition for doing just that," Lloyd said.
"What he has achieved in his career to date is extraordinary and becoming a John Nicholls medallist marks another very special moment for him, which we and the whole Carlton family should be extremely proud of.
"While he is an undeniable talent, it has been extremely rewarding for our entire football club to see him continue to progress over the course of the last three years and enjoy another prolific season.
"He has worked unbelievably hard to become the player that he is, and after getting extremely close last year, we are thrilled that Sam has been duly recognised tonight."
Walsh's award-laden evening came on the back of 30 Brownlow Medal votes with a fourth-place finish in the league's vote count.
He also registered a sixth-place finish in the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year, his first All-Australian blazer and a third consecutive call-up and maiden captaincy of the AFLPA's 22under22 side.
2021 John Nicholls Medal leaderboard:
2021 award winners:
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