WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is the team’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy Nominee for the 2021-22 campaign.
The Washington chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association selected No. 19 for his perseverance and performance following his return from a lingering hip injury.
Backstrom missed the start of training camp and the first part of the regular season while rehabilitating the injury. Since returning, Backstrom has dished six goals and 25 assists in 41 games, good for .75 points per game. In a full 82-game campaign, the Swedish center would be on pace for 62 points. He also recorded his 1,000th career NHL point back in March. Not only that, he continues to log top-6 minutes and serve as a catalyst on the first power-play unit.
“Nicklas Backstrom last offseason noticed problems with his left hip that was surgically repaired in 2015,” Backstrom’s nomination explains. “It was enough to keep him off the ice for training camp and the start of the season. While turning 34, Backstrom went through a grueling rehab process off the ice before he could even start skating again in the hopes of returning to the Washington Capitals. Backstrom missed Washington’s first 28 games before making his season debut in mid-December. The veteran swede in March recorded his 1,000th career point and remains at almost a point-per-game rate in his NHL career.”
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The Masterton Trophy has been presented annually since 1967-68 and is awarded to “the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.” This would be the first time Backstrom has won the award.