by Pete Richmire

TACOMA, WA. - It didn't come as a surprise to Tacoma Stars fans, but when the 2022-23 MASL Awards were announced on Monday evening, forward Nick Perera emerged as the League MVP with a spot on the Elite 6 team. For Perera, it was his second MVP nod after also claiming the award during the 2018-19 campaign.

Perera finished the regular season with 70 points on 33 goals and 37 assists, 16 points ahead of Empire's Franck Tayou. With his season totals, Perera was named the League Scoring Champion and his assists led the league and he was crowned the League Pass Master. Both of those announcements came earlier during the playoffs.

For his regular-season career, Perera has amassed 406 points with a balanced 203 goals and assists. His points and assists are both in the MASL All-Time Top 5.

As Perera distributes assists, he was quick to pass around thanks and praise to others after taking home the MVP title. “I’m incredibly humbled to receive this recognition for my work this season, it really is an honor to be recognized in a league with so many tremendous players. I want to thank the Stars organization, all our staff, our fans, my teammates, and above all, my family who supports me in everything I do and makes daily sacrifices to allow me to continue playing. Thank you all," Perera said.

The Stars reached the postseason and hosted the Mesquite Outlaws in the Western Conference play-in game, a feat that Stars' owner Lane Smith largely credited to Perera's presence on and off the field by saying, “Nick had a great season and is a key reason the Stars stayed competitive into the playoffs. His accumulation of goals and assists are also matched by his leadership and motivation of the entire team around him. Very well deserved “