The New Jersey Devils are proud to announce right wing David Clarkson as their 2013 nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy.
Clarkson, 29, just completed his seventh NHL season, all with the Devils. He led the team with 15 goals while playing in all 48 games. As Clarkson's contributions on the ice have grown, one thing has remained constant: his outsized passion for charitable endeavors.
This year, Clarkson joined the advisory board for the Hockey in Newark program and helped arrange the donation of 50 sets of hockey equipment through the NHLPA's Goals and Dreams Fund.
For Hockey in Newark, which aims to cultivate hockey in New Jersey's largest city, Clarkson's involvement was a major boon. For Clarkson, the opportunity to grow the game in his NHL home proved irresistible.
"When you get to meet these kids, you get to see the smiles on their faces just for something so little as a helmet or a pair of hockey pants," Clarkson said. "It was something we had wanted to do for a while and the NHLPA was right there."
When Hurricane Sandy devastated the New York-New Jersey area last October, Clarkson was among the NHLers who answered the call. He skated in Operation Hat Trick, a charity game played in Atlantic City to benefit those impacted by the storm.
"To the players that came out, I think it was a great cause for a lot of people in need," Clarkson said. "It was one of those things I'll remember the rest of my career."
Clarkson's "Clarky's Kids" program with the OHL's Kitchener Rangers is now in its fifth year. It provides children battling cancer with the chance to experience a Kitchener Rangers game from the "Clarky's Kids" suite and visit with players and coaches in and out of the hospital.
"I played in that community, it was like home to me," Clarkson said. "It was a no-brainer to be able to help others."
Though Clarkson is now an established NHL veteran, "Clarky's Kids" is still going strong in Kitchener and continues to raise funds that support local families and siblings dealing with a child that has cancer.
On April 20, Clarkson received the Joan Schatz-Belisle Fundraising Volunteer Award by the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario (POGO) for his continued work through the program.
"When you do good things, good things happen. I've been very lucky," Clarkson said.
Clarkson's recent charity work has also included:
• In March, the Make-A-Wish Foundation sent a young fan to visit a Devils practice. Clarkson met with him one-on-one for a very special interview and team experience.
• In December, he took part in the RBC Play Hockey Charity Challenge in Toronto to benefit grassroots hockey causes through the NHLPA's Goals and Dreams Fund and the RBC Play Hockey Program.
• Also in December, Clarkson participated in the NHLPA’s charity game in Windsor, Ontario, to benefit SPARKLES From Above, which supports childhood cancer patients and their journey through treatment.
• In July 2012, Clarkson teamed up with Indy car driver Graham Rahal at the Honda Indy Toronto to promote their individual foundations: Read more
Never drafted, Clarkson was signed by the Devils as a free agent on August 12, 2005.
Hockey Night in Canada feature
More on Clarky's Kids
Operation Hat Trick
RBC Charity Challenge
Windsor NHLPA Charity
Hockey In Newark | Clarkson visit