OTTAWA – The Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced today the selection of Zack Smith as the Ottawa Senators’ candidate for the 2015-16 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Smith, a native of Maple Creek, Sask., has recorded career bests in goals (21) and points (32) in 75 games with the Senators this season. He reached both the 50-goal and 100-point plateaus for his career in 2015-16 and has the opportunity to play his 400th National Hockey League game.
From the Ottawa chapter of PHWA’s biography of Zack Smith’s 2015-16 season:
Zack Smith took advantage of his opportunity.
Not long before the all-star break, the 27-year-old winger’s cousin bet him he’d score 20 goals this season and Smith wasn’t afraid to put his $100 on the line because even he didn’t think it could happen.
“It’s the best $100 I ever spent,” said Smith after scoring No. 20 in mid-March.
Through most of his career, Smith has been a grinding winger, who has been tough to play against, has shown the odd flashes of offensive brilliance and always competes with the same hard-nosed mentality every night.
Last year, Smith missed nearly four months with a devastating wrist injury that many thought would end his season. He was able to play at the end of the season and that gave him enough of a confidence boost to know he’d be ready for this year.
A third-round pick he’s had to battle the odds though his career and this season his determination has never been more noticeable.
The Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy is an annual award under the trusteeship of the PHWA and is given to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
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