RALEIGH, NC - Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal has been named as one of three finalists for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association (PHWA) to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. The winner will be named at the 2018 NHL Awards to be held June 20 in Las Vegas.
Staal, 29, was nominated for the Masterton Trophy on March 27 by the Carolina chapter of the PHWA. In its news release announcing Staal as its nominee, the chapter stated:
Staal assumed an already bigger leadership role with the young Hurricanes this season, being named co-captain before the season.
He faced adversity on the ice, with Carolina headed toward its ninth-straight season without making the postseason, but nothing like the struggles he was dealing with off it. In late February, Staal and his wife, Heather, announced their daughter, Hannah, was delivered stillborn due to a terminal birth defect previously diagnosed by doctors.
The 29-year-old Staal missed just three games following the tragedy, and he was a key component of the Hurricanes and carried himself with dignity throughout the season while quietly dealing with his family's adversity. This ability to lead and compete at a high level while going through such personal hardship embodies the spirit of the Masterton Trophy.
Staal registered 46 points (19g, 27a) in 79 games with the Hurricanes this season. The 6'4", 220-pound center ranked sixth in the NHL in faceoff win percentage (56.6%, min. 1,000 faceoffs) and led the Hurricanes in hits (181) and shorthanded goals (2). Staal also ranked fourth on the team in goals, tied for fourth in multi-point games (8) and fifth in points and assists in 2017-18. The Thunder Bay, Ont., native played in his 800th NHL game on Dec. 27 against Montreal and scored his 200th NHL goal on Jan. 12 against Washington. In addition, he recorded a career-high four assists on Nov. 13 against Dallas. Staal was acquired by the Hurricanes on June 22, 2012, and has registered 234 points (86g, 148a) in 412 career games with the Hurricanes. He has earned 482 points (206g, 276a) in 843 career NHL games with Pittsburgh and Carolina.