Predators forward Wayne Simmonds has been named a finalist for the 2019 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award to be presented at the 2019 NHL Awards.
The finalists and eventual winner are selected by Messier, ultimately choosing a player "who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey."
Acquired by the Preds at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline from Philadelphia, Simmonds posted 17 goals and 30 points in 79 games with the Flyers and Predators this season. The veteran winger served as an alternate captain with the Flyers, and his leadership qualities were one of the driving forces that led Predators General Manager David Poile to acquire Simmonds at the deadline.
Simmonds's off-ice work in the community is extensive, and it certainly caught the eye of Messier. From the NHL's release:
"The 30-year-old forward participated as a board member of the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation (ESYHF) for the sixth consecutive year, visiting community rinks and engaging students. He served as honorary chairman of the foundation's annual golf tournament - its largest fundraiser - for the fourth-straight year. Simmonds also worked with the planning committee in hosting the organization's Willie O'Ree Skills Weekend, writing welcome letters to each participant. In addition to his efforts with ESYHF, Simmonds continued his "Wayne's Road Hockey Warriors" ball hockey fundraiser in his hometown of Scarborough, Ont., and donated a private Flyers suite to military personnel as part of his "Wayne's Warriors" program."
Simmonds is nominated alongside Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. Former Preds Captain Shea Weber won the award in 2016.
The NHL Awards are set to take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on June 19 in Las Vegas.