NY Islanders Captain Anders Lee Named Finalist for King Clancy Memorial Trophy

New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five
New York Islanders v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Five / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

Named the NY Islanders nominee for the 2023 King Clancy Memorial Trophy last month, Anders Lee was announced today as a finalist for the award. Joining Lee are Mikael Backlund of the Calgary Flames and Darnell Nurse of the Edmonton Oilers.

The award is given annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made significant humanitarian contributions to his community. The winner of the award is chosen by a panel of representatives from the Professional Hockey Writers Association and the NHL Broadcasters Association.

Not only the captain of the franchise, but Lee also raises money for families affected by cancer through his foundation, Jam Kancer in the Kan. Lee's relationship with Fenov Pierre-Louis, a teenager battling Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, brought recognition to the organization before Pierre-Louis' passing in 2018 at just 17 years old.

“It changes. You have this wonderful friendship with someone and it’s for such a short period of time and it was so special,” said Lee in an interview with Pro Hockey Talk in 2018. “But now that we’ve lost Fenov, this does mean a lot even more to me and to Grace, to everyone involved. It’s definitely going to be tough the first time without him. He was the one who I handed the mic to first because he always had something special to say. This year I’m obviously not going to be able to hand it to him. I’ll have to fill his shoes a little bit.”

Shortly after Fenov's passing, Lee created Fenov Scholarships, awarding $2,000 to high school graduates who have provided help and sympathy to someone with cancer.

"School and education was so important to Fenov," said Lee said in 2019. "Everything he'd gone through, he made an effort to be in class as often as possible and maintain straight As. That's pretty inspiring by him and we wanted to continue to honor him in a way that we could, by handing out scholarships to people that have done good things in the community, not only in the classroom, but also helping people with cancer."

If presented the trophy at the NHL Awards on June 26th in Nashville, TN, Lee would be the third Islanders player to win the award, joining Bryan Trottier (1989) and Doug Weight (2011).