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2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas

John Locher/AP

Jason Zucker of the Minnesota Wild poses with the King Clancy Memorial Trophy at the NHL Awards, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Las Vegas.

A Golden Knight may not have brought home any hardware at the NHL Awards, but Las Vegas didn’t go home empty-handed from the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Wednesday.

Minnesota Wild forward Jason Zucker, who grew up in the valley, took home the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for his work with a Minnesota children’s hospital. The award is given to the “player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”

“I’ve said this a bunch, but I never thought I’d be playing in Las Vegas,” Zucker said. “I never thought they’d get a team and can’t ever say I thought I’d win an NHL award in Las Vegas.”

Zucker was born in California but moved to Las Vegas as a baby and played with the youth team Las Vegas Outlaws. He honed his craft at local rinks before moving to eventually join the U.S. national team development program in Michigan, but said he hasn’t forgotten his time in Las Vegas.

“I was always a kid growing up that loved to go to stick-and-pucks here at Las Vegas Ice Center and Sobe Ice Arena,” Zucker said. “Walking through the red carpet, there were kids that I remember skating with when I was a kid here, showing them some skating drills that my skating coach was showing me in Michigan, things like that. I was trying to bring some of that knowledge back and show them.”

Zucker and his wife, Carly, this season completed the Zucker Family Suite and Broadcast Studio at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, which helps kids watch Wild games while simulating the arena atmosphere. Zucker and his family helped raise $1.2 million for the space through his fundraising campaign Give16, after his jersey number.

The National Hockey League Foundation is donating $40,000 to a charity of Zucker’s choice for the trophy win.

Mark Stone was the Golden Knights’ lone finalist, and he finished second in the voting for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward. St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly won, and Stone’s teammate William Karlsson had a third- and a fourth-place vote to finish 17th.

Stone, wearing a blue suit with Golden Knights logos on the lining, was the first winger to be a Selke finalist since New Jersey’s Jay Pandolfo in 2007. A winger has not won since Jere Lehtinen for Dallas in 2003. Stone has collected Selke votes five years in a row, including a sixth-place finish in 2017.

Centers have dominated the award historically, but O’Reilly said Stone being a winger shouldn’t disqualify him from winning.

“You see what he does on the ice — he dramatically affects the game and is extremely tough to play against. Both ends of the ice he makes an impact,” O’Reilly said. “Obviously, the trend is to be a center’s award, but he’s rightfully deserving to be there as well. He’s an amazing player, and I kind of said it before, but he’s one of those guys you admire watching, but playing against, it’s tough.”

Outside of Stone, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury had the best finish among Vegas players, scoring a fourth-place nod for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie. He had one first-place vote.

Stone finished 12th in the Hart Trophy race for league MVP, and Fleury finished tied for 17th.

The Golden Knights were well represented in the voting for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league’s most “gentlemanly” player. After winning the award last year, Karlsson finished 28th, forward Alex Tuch finished 17th, center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare tied for 30th and Fleury finished 32nd of the 60 players that received votes.

George McPhee won last year’s General Manager of the Year award and received one second-place vote this year to finish 10th.

NHL Award winners

Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP): Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

James Norris Trophy (top defenseman): Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender): Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

Calder Memorial Trophy (top rookie): Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks

Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward): Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

Jack Adams Award (most outstanding coach): Barry Trotz, New York Islanders

General Manager of the Year: Don Sweeney, Boston Bruins

Ted Lindsay Award (most outstanding player voted on by players): Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (Most “gentlemanly” player): Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

Bill Masterton Trophy (perseverance and dedication to hockey): Robin Lehner, New York Islanders

King Clancy Trophy (humanitarian award): Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild

Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award: Wayne Simmonds, Nashville Predators

Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award: Rico Phillips, Flint Inner-City Youth Hockey Program

Art Ross Trophy* (scoring leader): Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy* (goals leader): Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

William M. Jennings Trophy* (goalie who plays at least 25 games allowing the fewest goals): Robin Lehner/Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders

*determined at end of regular season

Article written by #LasVegasSun