Colin Blackwell has been nominated by the New York Rangers’ chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Colin Blackwell is the #NYR nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, voted on by the Rangers chapter of the PHWA.— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) May 5, 2021
The award is given annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey.”
In this instance, Blackwell certainly checks the boxes as he’s been working hard to make it to the NHL and stick there. Blackwell was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of the 2011 draft, and played four seasons at Harvard University.
He moved on to the AHL, tallying 187 games between the San Jose Baracuda, Rochester Americans, and Milwaukee Admirals. This is the first time in Blackwell’s career that he’s not played a game in the AHL, and in his first full season with the Rangers the 27-year-old has appeared to finally carve out a full time role for himself. Blackwell’s tallied 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points in 44 games while averaging 13:44 a game.
Last season the award went to Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators, who returned to play after an extended leave of absence after entering the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program due to issues with alcohol abuse.
In the history of the award, a Ranger has won five times with the most recent being Dominic Moore in 2014. Adam Graves also won it in 2001, Anders Hedberg did in 1985, Rod Gilbert took the trophy home in 1976, and Jean Ratelle received it in 1971.