For the second year in a row, Jacob Markstrom is the Vancouver Canucks’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Awarded annually to the player that “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey,” Markstrom was the clear choice for his team this year.
The Masterton Trophy is selected annually by the Pro Hockey Writers Association, which named one nominee from each of the league’s 31 teams:
- Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Miller, G
- Arizona Coyotes: Conor Garland, F
- Boston Bruins: Kevan Miller, D
- Buffalo Sabres: Curtis Lazar, F
- Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano, D
- Carolina Hurricanes: James Reimer, G
- Chicago Blackhawks: Corey Crawford, G
- Colorado Avalanche: Ryan Graves, D
- Columbus Blue Jackets: Nathan Gerbe, F
- Dallas Stars: Stephen Johns, D
- Detroit Red Wings: Robby Fabbri, F
- Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid, F
- Florida Panthers: Noel Acciari, F
- Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick, G
- Minnesota Wild: Alex Stalock, G
- Montreal Canadiens: Shea Weber, D
- Nashville Predators: Jarred Tinordi, D
New Jersey Devils: Travis Zajac, F
- New York Islanders: Thomas Hickey, D
- New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist, G
- Ottawa Senators: Bobby Ryan, F
- Philadelphia Flyers: Oskar Lindblom, F
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Evgeni Malkin, F
- San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton, F
- St. Louis Blues: Jay Bouwmeester, D
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Alex Killorn, F
- Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Hyman, F
- Vancouver Canucks: Jacob Markstrom, G
- Vegas Golden Knights: Shea Theodore, D
- Washington Capitals: Michal Kempny, D
- Winnipeg Jets: Mark Letestu, F
Markstrom was granted a leave of absence in October after the fourth game of the season to be with his father, who was battling cancer in Sweden. On November 10, Markstrom shared the news that sadly his dad had passed away. The Canucks goaltender left the team again in December to attend a memorial service.
Playing through the sadness of losing his father, Markstrom put together the best season of his career, posting a 23-16-4 record, with a .918 save percentage, and two shutouts. He ranked 11th in wins and fourth in save percentage among goalies with 40+ games played.
There’s an argument to be made for Markstrom to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy this year, one that is strengthened when you look at analytics.
Markstrom ranked fourth among NHL goalies in point shares (9.2), trailing behind the likes of Connor Hellebuyck, Andrei Vasilevskiy, and Carey Price. Among goalies that played over 40 games, Markstrom ranked fifth in goals saved above average (11.69).
Should Markstrom go on to win the award, he would become the first Canucks player to do so since the award was first introduced in 1967-68.