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MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens forward and captain Nick Suzuki was selected as the team’s nominee for this year's King Clancy Memorial Trophy on Wednesday.

The award is presented to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.

Suzuki is one of 32 nominees selected League-wide by their respective NHL teams on Wednesday.

Among the many gestures Nick Suzuki made this year, the London, ON native has chosen to support the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation by acquiring a suite at the Bell Centre specifically tailored to allow hundreds of youths in need to attend Canadiens home games. Since the start of the 2023-24 season, nearly 400 young individuals living with an illness, special needs, or who have recently experienced the loss of a parent or loved one, have had the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience and momentarily set aside the challenges they are facing during a hockey game.

In addition, Suzuki and his girlfriend Caitlin have also chosen to lend a helping hand to the Foundation by serving as co-chairs of the very first Canadiens’ Dream Big Casino Night, an initiative launched by the couple and organized in collaboration with Air Canada and Loto-Québec, the main sponsors of the event. The inaugural edition of this fundraiser benefiting the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation raised $162,483 to promote physical activity among underprivileged youth.

Since June 2022, Suzuki has been acting as the official ambassador for the Asista Foundation to raise awareness about the importance of mental health and to promote the cause to the public. The 24-year-old forward, who describes himself as an animal lover, was touched by this local organization’s mission, which serves a dual purpose. In addition to assisting children and adults struggling with mental health issues by providing them with service dogs, the Asista Foundation gives a second chance to dogs from shelters or rescues, who are then trained to meet the specific needs of the beneficiaries they are matched with. The inaugural edition of Nick Suzuki's Heroes Golf Tournament, held on August 29, 2023, raised a total of $116,596 for the Asista Foundation.

Right before the beginning of the school year, Suzuki teamed up with Goodfood to fight food insecurity and ensure that Canadian children can return to school with full stomachs. Suzuki made a personal contribution of $10,000 to the Breakfast Club of Canada following a collaboration with Goodfood, through which the company committed to donate one million meals to the organization operating coast-to-coast. The Montreal Canadiens captain then traded his traditional bleu-blanc-rouge uniform for an apron to serve breakfast at Maple Grove Elementary School in Lachine.

When asked about the motivation behind this gesture, Suzuki, who concluded the 2023-24 season with a personal record of 77 points, responded that he wanted to set an even greater example for his teammates. “That’s the mark I want to leave when I finish my playing career,” he said. “I want to be more than just a hockey player. It’s something I try to strive for. Leading by example is the best thing I can do.”

The winner of the 2023-24 King Clancy Memorial Trophy will be announced later in the offseason, chosen by a selection committee consisting of Commissioner Gary Bettman, along with former recipients of both the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and the historic NHL Foundation Player Award. The nominees’ inspiration, involvement, and impact to positively benefit their community, will serve as criteria in determining this year's winner.

Former captain Saku Koivu was the last Canadiens player to claim the award in 2007 after beating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and raising funds to purchase the first PET/CT scanner in Montreal through his foundation.