Wheeler, Simmonds, Engelland finalists for Mark Messier Leadership Award

Blake Wheeler celebrates after scoring a goal. (John Woods/CP)

Vegas Golden Knights defenceman Deryk Engelland, Philadelphia Flyers right-winger Wayne Simmonds and Winnipeg Jets right-winger Blake Wheeler are the three finalists for the 2017-18 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.

The award is presented “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.”

Engelland registered a career-high 18 assists and 23 points while helping the Golden Knights achieve unprecedented success for an expansion franchise. Off the ice, he was heavily involved in the community following the Las Vegas shooting in October.

Simmonds posted his fifth consecutive 20-goal season to propel the Flyers to their eighth playoff berth in the past 11 years. In addition to numerous other charitable acts, he hosted a different military unit in a private suite during every other home game, meeting each group at the end of the evening.

Wheeler, the Jets’ captain, shared the league lead with 68 assists and recorded a career-high 91 points to steer the Jets to their best season in franchise history. He also took on an increased role in the community, highlighted by his work as an ambassador with the True North Youth Foundation.

The winner will be revealed during the NHL Awards on June 20.


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