Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk (pronounced DOOB-nihk) is this year’s recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The award was presented this evening during the 2015 NHL Awards ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA), the trophy is presented annually to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be the recipient of the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and I thank the PHWA for selecting me,” said Dubnyk. “I would also like to recognize Andrew Hammond and Kris Letang on their inspirational seasons. I could not have achieved this without tremendous support from my family and my teammates. I would like to thank everyone for believing in me. It was fun playing hockey again this season!”
Dubnyk becomes the second player in Wild history to win a voted-on NHL Award, joining Wild goaltender Josh Harding, the 2013 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy recipient. Dubnyk, Hammond (Ottawa Senators) and Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins) were named finalists for this year’s award. Dubnyk was also named a Vezina Trophy Finalist this season.
Dubnyk, 29, went 36-14-4 in 58 games this season and ranked second in the NHL with both a 2.07 goals-against average (GAA) and .929 save percentage (SV%), T-4th with six shutouts and T-6th in wins. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound native of Regina, Sask., set single-season career highs in GAA, SV%, games played, consecutive starts (39), wins, shutouts, minutes, assists (2), shots faced (1,625) and saves (1,510). He was also named a 2015 Vezina Trophy Finalist.
Dubnyk was acquired by Minnesota from Arizona in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, on Jan. 14. After a red-eye flight, he started for Minnesota on Jan. 15 in Buffalo and became the first goalie in franchise history to earn a shutout victory in his Wild debut (7-0). He went 27-9-2 with a 1.78 GAA, .936 SV%, five shutouts and two assists in 39 starts for the Wild - including a franchise-record 38 consecutive starts that ended with a victory in Chicago that clinched Minnesota's playoff berth on April 7. In 19 road starts with Minnesota, Dubnyk was 15-2-1 with a 1.53 GAA, a .949 SV% and three shutouts. From his Wild debut on Jan. 15, he led the NHL in wins (six more than any other goalie) and T-2nd in shutouts.
Dubnyk played for three different teams in 2013-14, appearing in 32 games with the Edmonton Oilers, two contests with the Nashville Predators and finished the season playing eight games with the Hamilton Bulldogs in the American Hockey League. He owns a career record of 97-91-26 with 2.69 GAA, a .914 SV% and 14 shutouts in 231 career NHL games with Edmonton, Nashville, Arizona and Minnesota.
Members of the PHWA submitted ballots for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The Twin Cities chapter of the PHWA nominated Dubnyk. The NHL Writers’ Association first presented the trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, who played for the Minnesota North Stars and exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968 as a result of head injuries suffered during a game.