The Professional Hockey Writers Association announced its 2022 Masterton Trophy nominees on Monday, and Nicklas Backstrom has been named as the Washington Capitals’ nominee for the award. The trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game.” The PHWA statement on Backstrom reads:
“Nicklas Backstrom last offseason noticed problems with his left hip, which was surgically repaired in 2015. 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-a-game rate in his NHL career.”
Backstrom is 6-25-31 in 45 games since returning to the Caps’ lineup this season, fifth on the club in assists and fourth in power play points (14) despite missing 34 games to his hip injury this season. He is the team’s all-time leader in assists (747), and he is one of two players in Caps’ history to top the 1,000 point mark and more than 1,000 games played for the franchise.