The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club is proud to announce that defenceman Dmitry Kulikov has been named by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) as the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, awarded annually by the National Hockey League to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Kulikov, 28, was selected by the Winnipeg chapter of the PHWA for his solid 2018-19 campaign and for his ability to overcome injuries in the past two seasons. Last season, Kulikov missed 20 regular season and 16 playoff games due to a variety of upper-body issues that eventually required offseason surgery. Despite the injuries, Kulikov posted three goals and eight assists in his first season for the Jets and the native of Lipetsk, Russia played through pain to return to Winnipeg’s lineup for Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.
Kulikov endured a lengthy rehab after the offseason surgery and surprised many when he played his first game of the 2018-19 season on Oct. 14 against Carolina. He has continued to battle his injuries, but has played in 51 games for the Jets this season, collecting six assists, 45 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating. Kulikov has been paired with Tyler Myers much of the season as they have played a crucial shutdown role in the absence of defencemen Dustin Byfuglien and Josh Morrissey.
Kulikov, who was originally selected in the first round (14th overall) by the Florida Panthers in the 2009 NHL Draft, is playing in his second season for the Jets after his July 1/17 free agent signing.
The Masterton Trophy was first presented by the NHL Writers’ Association in 1968 to commemorate the late William Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars, who was originally from Winnipeg and exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Masterton died on January 15, 1968 after sustaining an injury sustained during a hockey game.
Kulikov is one of 31 candidates around the NHL. The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season and will be unveiled at the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas in June.
Jets past Bill Masterton nominees include:
Tyler Myers (2018)
Bryan Little (2017)
Dustin Byfuglien (2016)
Ondrej Pavelec (2015)
Olli Jokinen (2014)
Ron Hainsey (2013)
Jim Slater (2012)
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