Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno has been named one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, the National Hockey League and club announced today. The award is given annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. The other finalists for this year's award are New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner and San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton.
Foligno has been the club's nominee for the award three times (2013-14, 2014-15, 2018-19) and is the second player in Blue Jackets history to be named a finalist for the award. Former Blue Jacket Kevin Dineen was a finalist in each of the team's first two seasons in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
Foligno, 31, registered 17 goals and 16 assists for 33 points with 44 penalty minutes, a +12 plus/minus rating, 175 hits, 141 shots and has won 56.6 pct. of his face-offs, while averaging 17:42 of ice time in 73 games this season. He ranked second on the club in hits and faceoff percentage. The club's captain, he scored the game-winning goal in his 800th career NHL game on Dec. 17 vs. the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Buffalo, New York native has recorded 186-249-435 with 675 penalty minutes and a +1 plus/minus rating in 841 career NHL outings over 12-plus seasons with the Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators. Acquired in a trade from Ottawa on July 1, 2012, he ranks third on CBJ's all-time list in goals and assists, fourth in points and seventh in games played with 125-162-287 in 490 career contests. He became the first player in NHL history to capture both the Mark Messier Leadership Award and King Clancy Memorial in the same season after posting 26-25-51 and 55 penalty minutes in 79 games in 2016-17. Foligno was originally drafted by the Senators in the first round, 28th overall, in the 2006 NHL Draft.
The winner of the Masterton Trophy is selected by a poll of the 31 chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the conclusion of the regular season. The trophy was first presented by the NHL writers in 1968 in honor of the late Bill Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited the qualities for which the trophy embodies, and who died on Jan. 15, 1968. Last year's winner was Brian Boyle of the New Jersey Devils. Previous Blue Jackets nominees for the award include: Kevin Dineen (2000-01 and 2001-02), Luke Richardson (2002-03), Manny Malhotra (2003-04), Duvie Westcott (2005-06), Fredrik Norrena (2006-07), Pascal Leclaire (2007-08), Raffi Torres (2008-09), Jared Boll (2009-10), Derek MacKenzie (2010-11), Curtis Sanford (2011-12), Vinny Prospal (2012-13), Foligno (2013-14 and 2014-15), Fedor Tyutin (2015-16), Sergei Bobrovsky (2016-17) and Zach Werenski (2017-18).