LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Ryan Kesler finally has his hands on the Selke Trophy.
The Vancouver Canucks centre was named the NHL’s top defensive forward in voting by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, beating out Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews.
“I don’t think you ever set a goal to win the award, but I do pride myself on defencesive side of the game,” said Kesler. “It’s nice to get acknowledged. I guess all those years my dad was yelling ‘backcheck’ at me finally paid off.”
Kesler was a finalist for the award the past two seasons.
He led all NHL forwards in blocked shots this season with 80 and racked up a career-best faceoff percentage of 57.4 per cent.
“Everything kind of happened for me this year—41 goals and to win the Selke is a season I’ll never forget,” said Kesler.