The South Florida chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA) announced today that Noel Acciari has been selected as the Florida Panthers 2019-20 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Acciari signed a three-year contract with the Panthers on July 1, 2019, following a trip to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final with the Boston Bruins in which he recorded four points (2G/2A) over 19 games and sustained a broken sternum.
The 28-year-old forward appeared in 66 games during his first season with Florida, registering career-highs in goals (20) and points (27). On December 16, Acciari produced his first career multi-goal-game and first NHL hat trick, lighting the lamp three times against the Ottawa Senators. He followed up that performance with another hat trick in the Panthers next game on December 20 against the Dallas Stars, posting four points (3G/1A), completing his second consecutive hat trick on his first career penalty shot attempt.
With his consecutive hat tricks, Acciari joined Pavel Bure (February 10-14, 2001) as the only two players in franchise history to register hat tricks in consecutive games and was named the NHL First Star for the week ending December 22.
The 5-foot-10, 203-pound native of Johnston, RI, completed the 2019-20 season leading all NHL forwards with 103 blocked shots. He led the Cats with five game-winning goals and 121 hits while averaging the club’s sixth-most TOI per game (15:58).
The Masterton Trophy, selected from a poll of the 31 chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season, is awarded each season to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr was the recipient of the 2016 Masterton Trophy and goaltender Roberto Luongo was a finalist for the award in 2018.
A $2,500 grant from the PHWA is awarded annually to the Bill Masterton Scholarship Fund, based in Bloomington, MN, in the name of the winner.
The PHWA first presented the Masterton Trophy in 1968 to commemorate the late Bill Masterton, a player with the Minnesota North Stars, who exhibited to a high degree the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Masterton died January 15, 1968 following an injury suffered in a game against the Oakland Seals.