Anaheim's Ray Emery, Calgary's Daymond Langkow and Philadelphia's Ian Laperriere have been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
The award is given "to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey," the NHL announced Tuesday.
Emery returned from rehabilitation for a complicated bone-graft surgery last April to repair a ball joint in his right hip.
He went 7-2-0 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in 10 games to help the Ducks reach the playoffs.
Langkow returned to the Flames April 1 for his 1,014 career game after missing over a year due to recovery from a neck injury.
Laperriere was injured blocking a shot during the Flyers' playoff run last year. He failed to return to the team with concussion-related symptoms but has continued to serve the team in several capacities.