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Devils Curtis Lazar Nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

A year of overcome obstacles for Devils forward Curtis Lazar earns him New Jersey’s PHWA nomination for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

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New Jersey Devils

Forward Curtis Lazar was selected as the New Jersey Devils’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy by members of the New Jersey chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) on Friday.

The Masterton Award is presented to “the National Hockey League Player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”

Defenseman Dougie Hamilton was last season’s Devils nominee.

Lazar is enjoying a career-best season skating in his 10th year in the NHL. In 70 games thus far, the 29-year-old forward has accrued seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points while averaging 12:28 of time on ice.

However, it wasn’t an easy road for Lazar to get here.

You wouldn’t have known it then due to his composed nature, but Lazar’s obstacles date back to when he first arrived in New Jersey via trade from the Vancouver Canucks. Just mere hours after he was dealt at the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, Lazar’s wife Reanne went into labor.

Further, immigration issues prevented Lazar from making his Devils debut sooner than previously intended and prohibited Reanne — still pregnant — and two-year-old son Owen from joining him in the United States for months.

The journeyman forward eventually made it to New Jersey alone with his family back in Vancouver where he previously resided. After he was finally settled in Jersey City, Lazar partially tore his MCL twice late in the season.

Lazar quickly recovered and helped the Devils bounce the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He even scored a big goal in Game 6 of the series.

Despite the obstacles, Lazar showed up with a smile on a daily business and persevered. The persistence from Lazar has certainly paid off amid the best season of his career. In a dark season for the Devils, Curtis Lazar has been a silver lining and has established himself as one of the more important pieces in the New Jersey locker room and on the ice.

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