Mike Smith named Edmonton Oilers nominee for Bill Masterton Trophy

The Edmonton chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has selected Mike Smith as the nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy.

Smith has appeared in 31 games for the Oilers this year posting a 20-6-2 record, a .924 save percentage and has saved 14 goals above average. At 39 years old, Smith has had a season for the record books as he’s played some of the best hockey of his entire career.

His save percentage is the highest he’s posted since the 2011-12 season when he posted a 38-18-10 record and a .930 save percentage, and the second highest of his entire 15 year NHL career.

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The award is handed out annually to an NHL player who best exemplifies qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport.

“Mike Smith is matching the best season of his 15-year career at age 39, while sitting among the top five goalies in the NHL statistically,” said Edmonton’s PHWA chapter chair Mark Spector. “When researching similar seasons by a 38- or 39-year-old goalie, Hall of Fame names like Jacques Plante, Johnny Bower, Dominik Hasek and Gump Worsley are the comparables.

“His performance, his longevity, and his status as a pronounced leader in the Edmonton dressing room make Mike Smith a unanimous choice by the Edmonton chapter as our nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.”

Last year, Connor McDavid was named the Oilers nominee for the trophy that was ultimately won by Ottawa Senators forward Bobby Ryan.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]