This morning, the NHL announced via their official website that Leon Draisaitl was named as the Oilers nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which will be awarded at the coming NHL awards in June.
As we all know, Leon Draisaitl had a whale of a season for the Edmonton Oilers, scoring 50 goals and adding 55 helpers for 105 points. It was the first time an Oilers has hit the milestone since the OBC was patrolling the ice, and it was certainly a performance to be celebrated but today’s nomination stems from what Leon does off the ice. The King Clancy Memorial Trophy is awarded “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
In case you forgot, Leon Draisaitl made a commitment to donate $150,000 per year over the next eight years in support of WE and Hockey Helps Kids. In total, Draisaitl will donate $1.2 million to the charities with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation adding in another 50% for a total donation of $1.8 million. To me, these types of contributions made Leon’s nomination a slam dunk for the award, and while we won’t know until April 23rd if he’s one of the three finalists, you have to appreciate his willingness to give back to his adopted home.
When the deal was announced back in September, Draisaitl explained why it was important for him to get involved in the community and what it means to him:
“I want to give back to the Edmonton community, because it has given me so much. It’s important to me to support youth learning about how to give back and be active in their communities in order to have a positive impact. I have seen the effect Hockey Helps Kids has as a team captain for D. S. MacKenzie School last year. The students were so dedicated to their cause. They were inspiring. WE also encourages youth to get involved and gives them the life skills and experience they need to make a difference. I am happy to support both initiatives, and see the impact they have on youth and our community.”
After the nominees are reviewed by a committee of senior NHL executives, the three finalists will be announced on April 23rd with the winner to be revealed at the 2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas later this summer. The winner will then receive a $40000 donation from the NHL to benefit a charity (or charities) of his choice with the two runners up each receiving a $5000 donation to benefit the charity or charities of their choice.