OTTAWA - The Ottawa chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) has announced the selection of Senators forward Nick Paul as the team's nominee for the 2020-21 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
A native of Mississauga, Ont., Paul will match his NHL career high in games played (56) should he dress in the team's season finale against Toronto on Wednesday and is in need of one point to surpass his NHL career high (20) after registering five goals and 15 assists while appearing in each of Ottawa's contests to date this season.
From the Ottawa chapter of PHWA's biography of Nick Paul's 2020-21 season:
Paul, 26, has taken the long road to becoming a full-time NHLer, having cleared waivers three times during the course of his career. As recently as September of 2019, Paul was available to any NHL club that wanted to him - though he went unclaimed through the waiver process.
Since then, Paul has established himself as a regular in the Senators lineup under head coach D.J. Smith.
This season, Paul has been chosen as an alternate captain for multiple Ottawa Senators games. That honour perfectly illustrates how Paul has progressed from a marginal NHL player to an on-ice leader in the span of just 18 months.
When he was bouncing between the minors and the NHL, Paul spoke openly about embracing meditation techniques to keep him in a positive frame of mind. After signing a two-year, one-way contract extension with the Ottawa Senators in the fall, Paul talked about the importance of positive thinking during his arduous journey to the NHL.
"It was about switching the mindset and a lot of self-talk and just little things that I've learned to add to my game to get me to the point where I am now," Paul said.
His combination of perseverance and positivity make Nick Paul the perfect candidate for the 2020-21 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
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. Goaltender Craig Anderson was the first recipient of the award in Senators history following the 2016-17 NHL season while forward Bobby Ryan was bestowed the honour for 2019-20.
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