Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Hyman is the Leafs nominee for the Masterton Trophy

It’s the start of award nomination season, and while that NHL individual awards isn’t particularly my favourite thing, I admit that in a year when it’s all we have it’s something I’ll force myself to pay attention to.

To kick things off The Pro Hockey Writers Association has shared their list of the 31 Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees (honestly every award should follow this approach). This will eventually be whittled down to three names in list shared by the NHL once these initial votes are tallied, but for now we get the full list.

Zach Hyman!!!

Following the general rules of the Masterton of either overcoming a hardship or just being incredibly old by NHL standards, Hyman’s six month recovery from a torn ACL and returning to tie his career best for goals in 20 fewer games than it took him to do previously certainly is inspiring. Also considering the work ethic, positive attitude, and community involvement of Hyman and he seems like he was the easy choice for this nomination.

The fact that this nomination has been announced on Hyman’s birthday is extra special and hopefully he celebrates with some cold ones today.

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Who else has a chance at winning this?

Well eventually the NHL is going to recognize Connor McDavid for overcoming the hardship of being signed long term in Edmonton, but it seems likely that Bobby Ryan will be the sentimental favourite in the group. Former Leaf James Reimer has also been nominated for the award, though I’m not sure he’ll fall into the finalist group.

More award finalists will probably be announced in the coming days.