The New York Rangers announced that Mats Zuccarello has been named the winner of the 2016-17 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, presented by Lenox Hill Hospital.
The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award is presented annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, "goes above and beyond the call of duty." The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986 and passed away on January 10, 2017. More Rangers fans participated in selecting this year's winner than in any prior year, as over 10,000 votes were made.
Video: Talking with NYPD Sergeant Conor McDonald
In celebration of Detective Steven McDonald and his continuing legacy, the Rangers team honored Steven by wearing custom McDonald 104 jerseys on January 13, 2017 and recently auctioned off these jerseys with all proceeds benefitting the DEA Widows' and Children's Fund. Through the generosity of Rangers fans, the auction raised over $24,000. Rangers fans continue to contribute to our fundraising efforts - through the purchase of commemorative McDonald 104 pins - which to date have totaled an additional $7,000 for the DEA Widows' and Children's Fund, which is a partner of the Garden of Dreams Foundation.
Video: Steven McDonald Tribute at MSG
Zuccarello has skated in 79 games this season, registering 15 goals and 44 assists for 59 points, along with a plus-14 rating and 26 penalty minutes. He has established career-highs in several categories this season, including assists, even strength assists (35), even strength points (45), takeaways (69), and shots on goal (188). Zuccarello leads the Rangers in assists, points, even strength assists, takeaways, and shootout goals (four), is tied for the team lead in even strength points, ranks second in primary assists (23), and is tied for second in power play points (14) this season.
The Oslo, Norway, native is the first Ranger who has registered 44 assists in one season since Marian Gaborik in 2009-10. In addition, Zuccarello is one of five Rangers who have recorded at least 35 even strength assists in one season over the last 20 seasons (since 1996-97), along with Wayne Gretzky, Brian Leetch, Jaromir Jagr, and Michael Nylander.
Video: PIT@NYR: Zuccarello wins Steven McDonald Award
Zuccarello, who also received the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in 2013-14 and 2015-16, is one of three Rangers who have received the award at least three times, along with Adam Graves (five times) and Ryan Callahan (four times). Zuccarello is also one of five Rangers who have won the award in back-to-back years, along with Graves, Callahan, Mark Messier, and Sandy McCarthy.