Nick Foligno, Robin Lehner and Joe Thornton selected as Masterton Trophy Finalists

Columbus Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno, New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner and San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton have been named finalists for the 2019 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

The local chapters of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) submitted nominations for the Masterton Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season and the top three vote-getters were designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 19, during the 2019 NHL Awards show.

The finalists, in alphabetical order:

Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets

Foligno helped Columbus earn a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the third consecutive year by scoring 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 73 games, while simultaneously attending to health issues affecting two of his three young children. The Blue Jackets captain, 31, is skating in his seventh season with Columbus and ranks third on the club’s all-time goals (125) and assists (162) lists.

“I feel like we’ve become a stronger family and that’s how I’m always going to look at it. I think it’s made me a better person, a better player and a better leader, hopefully, for this team,” Foligno told the Columbus Dispatch. “I’m going to take it all in stride, but my family is my most important thing in my life and (the Blue Jackets are) my second family.”

Robin Lehner, New York Islanders

Lehner (25-13-5 record, 2.13 goals against average, .930 save percentage, six shutouts) and teammate Thomas Greiss won the 2018-19 William M. Jennings Trophy as the goaltenders on the team allowing the fewest regular-season goals, helping the Islanders post their highest regular-season points total (103) since 1983-84. His best NHL season on the ice came on the heels of revealing addiction and mental health issues in a self-penned article for The Athletic during training camp.

“I am not sharing this story to make people think differently of Robin Lehner as a professional goalie,” Lehner wrote. “I want to help make a difference and help others the way I have been helped. I want people to know that there is hope in desperation, there is healing in facing an ugly past and there is no shame in involving others in your battle.”

Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks

Thornton, 39, overcame major injuries from the prior two seasons, suffering a torn ACL and MCL in both his left knee (2017) and right knee (2018). His rehabilitation work, detailed in the San Jose Mercury News, served as an inspiration to his teammates and coaches. The leader among active NHL players in career assists and points (413 goals, 1,065 assists, 1,478 points in 1,566 games), Thornton concluded his 21st NHL campaign with 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 73 games, helping the Sharks qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 14th time in the past 15 seasons.

Thornton scored his 400th career goal on Nov. 13 and passed a pair of NHL legends on April 4, leapfrogging Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) into 12th place on the all-time games list and Steve Yzerman (1,063) into eighth place on the all-time assists list.

Bill Masterton Memorial Scholarship Fund

A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, Minn., in the name of the Masterton Trophy winner.

Previous winners:

2018Brian BoyleNew Jersey Devils
2017Craig AndersonOttawa Senators
2016Jaromir JagrFlorida Panthers
2015Devan DubnykMinnesota Wild
2014Dominic MooreNew York Rangers
2013Josh HardingMinnesota Wild
2012Max PaciorettyMontreal Canadiens
2011Ian LaperrierePhiladelphia Flyers
2010Jose TheodoreWashington Capitals
2009Steve SullivanNashville Predators
2008Jason BlakeToronto Maple Leafs
2007Phil KesselBoston Bruins
2006Teemu SelanneAnaheim Ducks
2004Bryan BerardChicago Blackhawks
2003Steve YzermanDetroit Red Wings
2002Saku KoivuMontreal Canadiens
2001Adam GravesNew York Rangers
2000Ken DaneykoNew Jersey Devils
1999John CullenTampa Bay Lightning
1998Jamie McLennanSt. Louis Blues
1997Tony GranatoSan Jose Sharks
1996Gary RobertsCalgary Flames
1995Pat LaFontaineBuffalo Sabres
1994Cam NeelyBoston Bruins
1993Mario LemieuxPittsburgh Penguins
1992Mark FitzpatrickNew York Islanders
1991Dave TaylorLos Angeles Kings
1990Gord KluzakBoston Bruins
1989Tim KerrPhiladelphia Flyers
1988Bob BourneLos Angeles Kings
1987Doug JarvisHartford Whalers
1986Charlie SimmerBoston Bruins
1985Anders HedbergNew York Rangers
1984Brad ParkDetroit Red Wings
1983Lanny McDonaldCalgary Flames
1982Glenn ReschColorado Rockies
1981Blake DunlopSt. Louis Blues
1980Al MacAdamMinnesota North Stars
1979Serge SavardMontreal Canadiens
1978Butch GoringLos Angeles Kings
1977Ed WestfallNew York Islanders
1976Rod GilbertNew York Rangers
1975Don LuceBuffalo Sabres
1974Henri RichardMontreal Canadiens
1973Lowell MacDonaldPittsburgh Penguins
1972Bobby ClarkePhiladelphia Flyers
1971Jean RatelleNew York Rangers
1970Pit MartinChicago Black Hawks
1969Ted HampsonOakland Seals
1968Claude ProvostMontreal Canadiens

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