LAS VEGAS -- Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild won the King Clancy Trophy awarded to the player or players who best exemplify leadership qualities on and off the ice and have made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in their community at the 2019 NHL Awards presented by Bridgestone on Wednesday.
Zucker and his wife, Carly, began a fundraising campaign for the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis in 2017. The space, which opened March 25, allows children and their families to watch Wild games in a setting that simulates the experience of being at the game. The Zuckers started the project with a $160,000 donation and encouraged others in the community to donate in increments of 16 -- Jason's jersey number -- to the #GIVE16 campaign, which has raised more than $1.2 million in less than 12 months.
"It's amazing," Zucker said. "For me, and I mentioned it a lot before, I feel this is a community award. It's nothing that my wife or I or anybody can do on their own. It makes it really special to be able to share it with everybody, and I feel like I'm sharing it with everybody that donated to #GIVE16 or was a part of it in some way with the hospital, so it's been fantastic."
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The left wing partnered with Da Beauty League in August 2018 to host a showcase game with players from Minnesota Special Hockey, a modified ice hockey program in Minnesota for players of all ages with development disabilities. Zucker, who serves as Hockey Is For Everyone ambassador for the Wild, scored 21 goals this season and pledged $1,600 for each one. He was a finalist for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy last season.
"I think my wife had a big part of that being from St. Cloud (Minnesota)," Zucker said. "She's as philanthropic as anybody I've ever met. It's been a pleasure to share that with her, and it's been great. It's something we're going to continue on for years to come. No matter what happens, Minnesota will always be home now and so will Masonic Children's Hospital."
Video: Jason Zucker awarded the King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Zucker, who was chosen by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, received a $40,000 donation from the National Hockey League Foundation to benefit a charity or charities of his choice.
"There are so many great people in the world doing great things, but something about pro sports gets everybody involved, creates a community of fans and players and businesses and so on and so forth," Zucker said. "It's definitely something we want to make sure we take advantage of, and my wife and really cherish that we have that opportunity."
Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, the two runners-up, each received a $5,000 donation.