NEW YORK -- Goaltender Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators, left wing Andrew Cogliano of the Anaheim Ducks and center Derek Ryan of the Carolina Hurricanes are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the National Hockey League announced today.
The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Masterton Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
Anderson recorded a successful season for the Senators while supporting his wife, Nicholle, in her fight against a rare form of throat cancer. After leaving the Senators in October to be with Nicholle, Anderson returned to the club at her urging on Oct. 29 when the Senators lost goaltender Andrew Hammond to a groin injury. He left the team in early December to be at Nicholle's side while she underwent treatment and came back after the All-Star break. Anderson backstopped the Senators to a Stanley Cup Playoff berth by winning 25 of his 40 starts, surpassed the 500 career game milestone and, on March 11, became the Senators' all-time wins leader (147).
Andrew Cogliano, Anaheim Ducks
Cogliano is a four-time Masterton Trophy nominee and is the NHL's reigning 'ironman,' having played in 786 consecutive regular-season games (833 including Stanley Cup Playoffs). He has never missed a game in his 10-year NHL career, during which he has skated 17,650 shifts over 12,425 playing minutes (regular season and playoffs). Only one player in NHL history has played more consecutive games to start his career: Doug Jarvis, holder of the NHL's all-time consecutive games streak (964, from 1975-88). Cogliano recorded his 300th NHL point in Anaheim's season opener on Oct. 13 and surpassed Craig Ramsay (776) for the fourth-longest consecutive games played streak in NHL history on March 22.
Derek Ryan, Carolina Hurricanes
Few players have taken a longer journey to the NHL than the undrafted Ryan, who earned a regular place on the Carolina roster this season at the age of 29. Following a successful major junior career with the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League, where he led his team in scoring in consecutive years under current Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters, his journey took him to the United Hockey League; the University of Alberta; Szekesfehervar, Hungary; Villach, Austria; and Orebro, Sweden. Signed by the Hurricanes as a free agent in June 2015, Ryan got his first NHL opportunity in 2015-16 (6 GP) and became a full-time player this season, recording 11-18-29 in 67 games.
Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund
A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.
The trophy was 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 on Jan. 15, 1968.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 2, during pregame programming. The series of announcements continues on Tuesday, April 25, when the three finalists for the NHL Foundation Player Award will be unveiled.
2017 NHL Awards & NHL Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena
The 2017 NHL Awards returns to Las Vegas and includes the NHL Expansion Draft in a two-hour television program. The 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft will celebrate the League's top talent from the 2016-17 season and reveal the initial roster of the League's 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights, on Wednesday, June 21, at T-Mobile Arena.
Televised live in the United States on NBCSN and in Canada on Sportsnet at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, the 2017 NHL Awards will showcase hockey and Hollywood's biggest stars with the excitement and energy that only Las Vegas can provide. As part of the program, the Golden Knights' 30 selections in the NHL Expansion Draft will be revealed, providing the home fans - and national viewing audience - the opportunity to learn the initial composition of the team's roster. The show will highlight team Majority Owner Bill Foley and General Manager George McPhee as well as select players chosen by the Golden Knights, who begin NHL play in 2017-18.
Information on an exclusive ticket pre-sale for Golden Knights season-ticket holders will be sent by the club in the coming days. This opportunity is for tickets to the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public beginning on Wednesday, May 3, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.
A full line-up of presenters and entertainment as well as official fan travel and hospitality packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In addition, fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.