CHETWYND, B.C. – The finalists for the NHL awards were announced today and a former Chetwynd resident was nominated for the Mark Messier Leadership Award.
Deryk Engelland, a Chetwynd native who now plays for the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, was nominated for the award along with Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds, and Winnipeg Jets Captain Blake Wheeler.
The Mark Messier Leadership award is given to one player every year who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team on and off the ice during the regular season. He must also play a role in his community growing the game of hockey.
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Mark Messier will solicit suggestions from other teams on who they think should win the award, but he will make the final decision by himself.
Engelland’s professional hockey career started with the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League. He would spend eight years in the minors between the Wranglers, Lowell Lock Monsters, South Carolina Sting Rays, Hershey Bears, and Wilkes-Barres/ Scranton Penguins, before eventually making the NHL with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009. Engelland was taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL expansion draft.
Engelland had a career high in points (23), and assists this year (18) and was a fixture in the Vegas community after the tragic shooting that occurred October 1st. He delivered an emotional pregame speech about the city of Vegas and the dedication of the first responders before the first game of the season. Engelland and his wife Melissa started a program inviting the people who were affected by the tragedy to Golden Knights home games, he would also meet and thank each guest he invited to the game. Engelland partnered with the Ronald McDonald house and Three Square to help children and their families in need. Engelland continued to attended local fire fighter charity hockey games as well, he’s continued a five year relationship with local firefighters raising over $40,000 for kids who can’t afford to play hockey.
The winner of the award will be announced in Las Vegas on June 20th.