The National Hockey League announced today that Philadelphia Flyers forward, Wayne Simmonds, is a finalist for the 2016-17 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey - commitment, perseverance and teamwork - to enrich the lives of people in his community."
Simmonds is one of two finalists along with New York Islanders defenseman, Travis Hamonic.
The winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award will be announced Tuesday, June 20, at the 2017 NHL Humanitarian Awards, a special event at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas that will honor the League's leaders both on and off the ice. The winner will also be recognized the following day at the 2017 NHL Awards at T Mobile Arena.
Simmonds has hosted Wayne's Road Hockey Warriors each summer since 2012. Aimed at providing opportunities for youth in his hometown of Scarborough, Ont., to learn and play hockey, he has raised more than $100,000 through this annual event that features several other NHL players. The 28-year-old also has purchased private suites at Flyers games for military personnel, hosted a Make-A-Wish experience and actively supported the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF). Inspired by his similar background, Simmonds joined the ESYHF board in 2014, often spending time on his off days with children from the program.
Having recently completed his sixth season with the Flyers, Simmonds led the team in goals (31) and finished fourth in the entire NHL with 16 power-play goals. He was named to, and participated in, his first NHL All-Star Game where he won MVP honors. Simmonds also took home two Flyers end of season awards - being the recipient of the Bobby Clarke Trophy as Team MVP, as well as winner of the Toyota Cup for most points as a "Star of the Game".
Alongside Simmonds for the award, Hamonic has used his personal experiences to positively impact the community. Through his D-Partner Program, Hamonic has bonded with and directly touched the lives of more than 200 children who, at a young age, have suffered the loss of a parent. He has spent more than $50,000 hosting D-Partner Program participants at Islanders games, providing VIP treatment as well as special meet-and-greets. Hamonic also has served as an event ambassador for the Children's Wish Foundation and spearheaded various Islanders community events, including the team's school and hospital visits.
NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award, with the finalists selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year's recipient.