No, you’re not reading an old press release – this year’s finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s best defensive forward are the same as last season’s: Bruins center (and last year’s Selke winner) Patrice Bergeron, Hawks star Jonathan Toews (who won it in 2013) and Kings star Anze Kopitar. Will Kopitar win his first Selke this time around?
For the second consecutive season, the finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward are the same three NHL star centers: Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews and L.A.’s Anze Kopitar. And the latter is looking to win his first this time around.
The 29-year-old Bergeron is a two-time Selke winner, including last year and in 2011-12. He had 23 goals and 55 points in 81 games, and registered a 60.2 faceoff win percentage. Toews, who will turn 27 next Wednesday, won the Selke in 2012-13 and finished third in voting last year; this season, he amassed 28 goals and 66 points in 81 games. And the 27-year-old Kopitar – a two-time Stanley Cup-winner who finished fourth in Selke voting two years ago and second in balloting last season – had 16 goals and 64 points in 79 games for the Kings this year.
Since the 1977–78 NHL season, the Selke Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL forward who excels in the defensive aspects of the sport. If Bergeron wins his third Selke Trophy this season, he’ll move into a tie with former Canadiens star Guy Carbonneau and former Dallas Star Jere Lehtinen for second place on the list of most Selkes in a career. Canadiens icon Bob Gainey holds top spot on that list, with four Selke wins.