Predators forward Wayne Simmonds was named the winner of the 2019 Mark Messier Leadership Award at the 2019 NHL Awards Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
The award is presented annually, "to the 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." The finalists, and eventual winner, are selected by legendary NHL player Mark Messier.
The win for Simmonds marks the fourth consecutive year the Preds have had a winner at the Awards; goaltender Pekka Rinne won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender in 2018, David Poile was named NHL General Manager of the Year in 2017 and former Preds Captain Shea Weber won the Messier Leadership Award in 2016.
It's the first-career honor at the event for Simmonds, who was acquired by Nashville via Philadelphia at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline.
Video: Wayne Simmonds wins Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award
Simmonds did extensive work in the community during his time as a member of the Flyers, including participation 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.
Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano and Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams were also finalists for the Messier Award.