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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders
Inspirational forward honored for his dedication to hockey

Kevin Colley is this year's winner of the Bob Nystrom Trophy, given to the Islander who best exemplifies leadership, hustle and dedication. Colley was presented the award by Nystrom and one-time winner Steve Webb before tonight's game between the Islanders and Washington Capitals.

"This award means a lot to me," said Colley, who received a warm ovation from the Coliseum faithful. "I want to thank all of the fans that thought of me. I will cherish this for a long time."

After climbing through the ranks of the minor leagues -- including the last three seasons with the Islanders' AHL affiliate in Bridgeport -- the 27-year old Colley was promoted to the Islanders and played 16 games in the NHL. In short time, he became an Islander fan favorite for his relentless and physical play. However, Colley suffered a career-ending neck injury during a game earlier this season against Washington at the Coliseum.

He received more than 40% of the votes registered by fans on Other Islanders receiving strong consideration were Shawn Bates, Jason Blake, Rick DiPietro and Trent Hunter.

"Kevin is very deserving of this award," said Webb, who went out to dinner with Colley last night and discussed life after hockey. "If you ask anyone who ever played with him, they'll tell you they never had a better teammate. He is the personification of what it means to be an Islander."

Bob Nystrom Trophy Winners
1991 - Brent Sutter
1992 - Ray Ferraro
1993 - Benoit Hogue
1994 - Steve Thomas
1996 - Dan Plante
1997 - Claude Lapointe
1998 - Rich Pilon
1999 - Claude Lapointe
2000 - Claude Lapointe
2001 - Dave Scatchard
2002 - Steve Webb
2003 - Jason Blake, Garth Snow
2004 - Adrian Aucoin
2006 - Kevin Colley

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