Blue Jackets, Islanders’ Honored at 2017 NHL Humanitarian Awards

Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno received the King Clancy Memorial Trophy and Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award, while New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic accepted the NHL Foundation Player Award Tuesday at the 2017 NHL Humanitarian Awards, a special event at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas honoring the League’s leaders both on and off the ice.

Foligno won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy – presented “to the player who best exemplifies leadership on and off the ice and who has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution to his community” – as well as the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award – given “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season.” The King Clancy Memorial Trophy recipient is selected by a panel from the Professional Hockey Writers Association and NHL Broadcasters’ Association, while the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award winner is chosen by six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier.

Serving his second season as captain, Foligno led Columbus to a 32-point improvement and its best campaign in franchise history. Off the ice, Foligno and his wife, Janelle, committed $1 million split between Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital in support of pediatric congenital heart care in honor of their daughter, Milana. The $500,000 donation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital benefited the Center for Cardiovascular Research, which houses the newly named Foligno Family Cardiovascular Research Lab. The $500,000 gift to Boston Children’s Hospital established funds to support surgical and fetal cardiac research. Additionally, Foligno continued a partnership with Papa John’s Pizza, raising money for the Janis Foligno Foundation – created in memory of his late mother, who died from breast cancer in 2009. The 29-year-old Buffalo native also joined his teammates for various community initiatives, including the Blue Jackets’ Meals on Wheels campaign during the holiday season.

Hamonic won the NHL Foundation Player Award, recognizing “an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.” NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award, with the finalists and winner selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation presents $25,000 to the winner’s chosen charitable organization; Hamonic has picked the Islanders Children’s Foundation, in support of his D-Partner Program.

A reliable defenseman throughout his seven-season NHL career, Hamonic has used his personal experiences to positively impact the community. Through his D-Partner Program, Hamonic has bonded with and directly touched the lives of more than 200 children who, at a young age, have suffered the loss of a parent. The 26-year-old St. Malo, Man., native has spent more than $50,000 hosting D-Partner Program participants at Islanders games, providing VIP treatment as well as special meet-and-greets. Hamonic also has served as an event ambassador for the Children’s Wish Foundation and spearheaded numerous Islanders community events, including the team’s school and hospital visits.