New York Islanders, Robin Lehner, Barclays Center, Home
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York Islanders first-year goaltender, Robin Lehner, nominated for Bill Masterton trophy for overcoming personal battle against addiction.

The only choice for the Islanders’ Bill Masterton nominee this season is Robin Lehner.

The Swedish netminder is doing much more than just playing good hockey for New York. Before the season began, Lehner opened up about his personal struggles that he dealt with in the past. These include struggling with thoughts of suicide,  other depression related issues and addiction.

Since going public and opening up about his mental health issues in September of 2018 with The Athletic, Lehner has arguably been the best story in hockey.

He has helped the Islanders have the best team goals against in the NHL and leads a tandem that also features Thomas Greiss, and quite possible the William H. Jennings trophy at the season’s end.

Lehner was drafted by Ottawa Senators in 2009 where he went a combined 30-36-13 through parts of five seasons. He was traded to Buffalo in 2015 where he first become a starting netminder and posted at least a .920 save percentage in each of his first two seasons.

After joining the Islanders in the 2018 offseason, Lehner began his sobriety and kicked himself into peak form with a .928 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average. His numbers are a major reason why the Islanders have the best goals against average per game in the NHL.

On top of being top three in the NHL for all aforementioned stats, Lehner also holds a career-high in shutouts with five this season.

The Bill Masterton trophy is awarded to the NHL player that best exemplifies sportsmanship, perseverance and dedication to the game of hockey.

The past five winners of the Masterton Trophy are: Brian Boyle (2018), Craig Anderson (2017), Jaromir Jagr (2016), Devin Dubnyk (2015) and Dominic Moore (2014).