Frederik Andersen, Connor Ingram and Oliver Kylington were named finalists for the Masterton Trophy on Thursday.

The winner of the award, which is given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, will be announced at a later date.

Andersen began the season 4-1-0 with the Carolina Hurricanes before doctors discovered a blood clotting issue, causing him to miss 50 games from Nov. 4 to March 7. The 34-year-old returned to go 9-1-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and three shutouts in 10 games to help Carolina (52-23-7) finish second in the Metropolitan Division.

"I'm just having fun with it, just being grateful to be back has fueled me a lot," Andersen said. "You go through a tough time when you sit out that long. Not being able to be in the room with the guys, obviously that has really been eye-opening, and I've been enjoying every second of it.

"It was a very scary situation. Right away, I just wanted to learn a little bit about what I was going to have to deal with and just take it day by day. I leaned on all the great doctors that I've seen that have helped me out through this time. It's been really nice. Obviously, a lot of great people in my life too that have been there along the way, so I'm just kind of leaning on them and not looking too far ahead."

A first-time finalist, Andersen would be the second Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers player to win the award (Doug Jarvis, 1986-87).

"What he had to go through this year has been tough, more just the uncertainty of what he had and not knowing would he even play again," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "To come back and play the way he has has been a great story all the way around. Hopefully, it's got an even better ending."

Ingram nearly retired due to obsessive compulsive disorder and lingering depression before seeking help from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance program Jan. 15, 2021. He played his first seven professional seasons in the ECHL, American Hockey League and Sweden before making his NHL debut with the Nashville Predators in 2021-22. The 27-year-old, who was claimed off waivers by the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 10, 2022, was 23-21-3 with a 2.91 GAA, .907 save percentage and tied for the NHL lead with six shutouts in 50 games (48 starts) this season.

Ingram became this first Coyotes goalie in 12 years to be named the NHL's First Star for the week ending Dec. 3, when he was 3-0-0 with a 1.63 GAA and .947 save percentage during a stretch when Arizona won five straight games against the previous five Stanley Cup winners.

A first-time finalist, Ingram shared his story publicly to help others.

"You've got to put the work in to feel good," Ingram told earlier this season. "You know what sets you off or what makes you calm, whatever it may be. It's like addiction. You know if you go anywhere near that, it's going to cause you problems, so I stay away from anything that might cause me to have a flare-up or be anxious or anything like that. It's just putting in work, going to therapy, taking care of yourself.

"It's like a nagging injury. If you don't take care of it, it's going to get worse. For the rest of my life, I'll sit in a stranger's chair and tell them my problems once a week. It's just a fact of my life."

Kylington returned to the Calgary Flames lineup Jan. 25 after more than 18 months away, including missing the entire 2022-23 season to attend to his mental health. The 26-year-old defenseman was worried that he may not be able to continue playing hockey but worked with the Flames staff while away and had eight points (three goals, five assists) and averaged 17:14 of ice time in 33 games.

"I knew that this day was about to come, so I was looking forward to it," Kylington said after his first practice with the Flames. "I just tried to really approach it as any other day, but it was kind of hard. Yesterday I had a moment for myself. At one point in time, I didn't think I was going to be here. It was kind of emotional, but in a good way. I was excited to come here today and see everyone and just share the ice with everyone and play hockey again."

Kylington, a first-time finalist, would be the third Flames player to win the Masterton Trophy and first since Gary Roberts in 1995-96.

A $2,500 grant from the PWHA will be awarded to the to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins won the award last season. independent correspondent Kurt Dusterberg contributed to this report

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