SAN JOSE -- Sharks rookie goalie Alex Stalock's recovery after complex surgery to regenerate a leg nerve severed by an opponent's skate has earned him the nomination for the Masterton Trophy given annually to an NHL player for perseverance and dedication to hockey.

Chosen by the San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, Stalock will represent the Sharks in the league-wide vote.

Upon learning of the recognition, the backup goaltender was quick to thank the franchise for sticking with him after the February 2011 injury that occurred during a scrum when Dwight King of the Manchester Monarchs stepped on Stalock's leg while he was playing goal for the Worcester Sharks.

"Obviously it took some work and time and patience," Stalock, 26, said of his recovery, "but I don't think it would have been possible without having the right group around me, that's for sure. I've seen it before. Maybe an organization doesn't take care of a guy. Maybe they say good luck, shake hands and move on. It was the complete opposite here."

Stalock is having an impressive rookie season, having set a franchise shutout streak record of 178 minutes, 55 seconds in January, breaking the mark set by Evgeni Nabokov in 2009. In 22 appearances, Stalock is 11-5-2 with a .930 save percentage and 1.91 goals-against average.

In February 2011, Stalock was back in the minors three days after earning a win in his first NHL game, a relief effort at Phoenix, when the accident occurred.

Specialized surgery at the Mayo Clinic not far from Stalock's family home in St. Paul, Minn., was needed to reconnect the nerve. Even then, he was told there was a 50-50 chance he would never play again.

"Being young and having it be my first injury, I kind of played it that it's not going to be a big deal," Stalock would say later. "And I think that mindset was a big reason to get through it."

From February 2011 to January 2012, Stalock underwent a sometimes grueling rehab effort to regain strength and improve his skill level. He would ease his way back into the game, starting in the ECHL with the Stockton Thunder, and then returning to Worcester for 38 games during the 2012-13 season.

In training camp last September, Stalock won the job as backup to Vezina Trophy finalist Antti Niemi.

Stalock will be competing with nominees from each franchise in voting by the league's writers. The only Shark to win the Masterton Trophy was forward Tony Granato in 1997 after overcoming a potentially career-ending brain injury.

For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.