Defenseman Nick Seeler, who returned to professional hockey two years ago after spending a year away from the sport, has been named the Flyers’ nominee for the NHL’s Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for the 2022-23 season.
The Masterton Trophy is awarded to the player “who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”
The Flyers’ nominee for the Masterton is voted upon each year by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Past winners of the trophy from the Flyers include Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke, Tim Kerr and Ian Laperriere.
Seeler, 29, was originally selected 121st overall by the Minnesota Wild in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He played 99 games for the Wild and six games for the Chicago Blackhawks before deciding to take a year off when the 2020-21 season was shortened due to the COVID pandemic.
“I wasn’t sure what my plan was when I took the year off,” Seeler said. “I just needed kind of a mental and physical break.”
The Flyers signed the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native to a free-agent contract on July 28, 2021.
He was supposed to be a spare seventh or eighth defenseman for the 2021-22 season but an injury to Rasmus Ristolainen pushed Seeler into the opening night lineup.
Seeler quickly endeared himself to Flyers fans by taking on 6-foot-7 Jamie Oleksiak and fighting him to a standoff.
On May 20, 2022, Seeler chose not to enter free agency and instead signed a two-year, $1.55-million contract with the Flyers.
This season Seeler has played in 76 games, with four goals/14 points with a plus-1.
“I’m truly honored and humbled to be nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy,” said Seeler. “Thank you to those who voted for me and to the entire Flyers organization for making these past two years feel like home. And of course, thank you to my family and close friends for always supporting me throughout my hockey journey. Go Flyers!”