The Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced today that they have selected defenseman Nick Schultz as the Flyers’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award is given annually “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
Schultz, 32 (8/25/1982), signed with the Flyers as a free agent on July 2, 2014 and brought 12 years of NHL experience with him to the Flyers locker room. Over the course of this season, his 13th, he has recorded two goals and 13 assists for 15 points in 74 games while playing an average of 19:01 per game.
“It’s a great honor,” Schultz said. “It’s great to be recognized for this. Obviously there are a lot of guys throughout their careers who have gone through (stuff) that didn’t go their way. They kind of battled back, different injuries, different extremes. Still rewarding to be nominated for it.”
Schultz was drafted in the second round (33rd overall) by the Minnesota Wild in the team’s first-ever NHL Entry Draft in 2000, and as such was the second draft pick, and first defenseman, in the team’s history. He appeared in 743 games for the Wild over ten seasons from 2001-2011 and remains the franchise’s all-time leader in games played. Schultz recorded 26 goals and 102 assists for 128 points during that time and averaged 19:35 of ice time per game over his ten years with the Wild.
Schultz was traded to Edmonton in exchange for Tom Gilbert on February 27, 2012 and spent parts of three seasons with the Oilers before being traded to Columbus for a fifth-round draft pick at the trade deadline on March 5, 2014.
The local chapters of the PHWA in each of the NHL’s 30 cities submit nominations for the Masterton Trophy, and the top three vote-getters are designated as finalists. The winner of the Masterton will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas this June. A $2,500 grant from the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) will be awarded to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, in the winner’s name.
Three Flyers players have won the Masterton Trophy – Ian Laperriere (2011), Tim Kerr (1989) and Bobby Clarke (1972).
The trophy was first presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey and who died January 15, 1968.
The Flyers are next in action on Wednesday in Pittsburgh (8PM, NBCSN, 93.3 WMMR) and will then visit Carolina before returning home to finish out the season with a four-game homestand beginning April 5 vs. Pittsburgh at 12:30. Tickets for all remaining Flyers home games are available by calling 215-218-PUCK or visiting philadelphiaflyers.com.