Nashville, TN — Jordin Tootoo, the first Inuk player in the National Hockey League, has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy by his team.
The Nashville Predators nominated the former Brandon Wheat King star, born in Chruchill raised in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, for the award that is given annually to a player who demonstrates perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Tootoo has bounced back to score six goals in 68 games this season after successfully completing the NHL substance abuse program last year.
The Masterton Trophy will be handed out at the NHL awards in Las Vegas after the playoffs.
The Professional Hockey Writer's Association picks the winner from all the nominees.
Previous winners of the Masterton trophy include Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Sakku Koivu.
A former OCN Blizzard standout and third round bantam draft choice of the Western Hockey League's Wheat Kings, Tootoo played four seasons in Brandon (1999-2003) and was a member of two Eastern Conference finalists.
In 220 career games, the popular Tootoo scored 93 goals and 209 points while accumulating 874 minutes in penalties, which ranks him third on the club's all time list – behind Randy Ponte and Tim Lockridge.
Tootoo was a WHL First Team All Star in 2002-03 when he scored 35 goals and 74 points.