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A Closer Look at the Frank J. Selke Trophy Finalists

Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier and Ryan O’Reilly are named finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy. The NHL has also announced finalists for the James Norris Memorial Trophy, Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, Vezina Trophy, Lady Byng Award, Ted Lindsay Award, Calder Trophy and Jack Adams Award. The award is given to the best NHL defensive forward of the season and voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The Selke Trophy winner will be announced during the conference finals.

Here is a closer look at the Selke Trophy finalists.

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Bergeron placed fourth in face-off winning percentage (57.9 percent) and third in defensive-zone face-off winning percentage (58.4 percent). He’s tied with Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel for seventh in face-offs taken (759) but was first among Bruins forwards in blocked shots (46). The Bruins forward is second on the team in shorthanded ice time per game with 1:43. Joakim Nordstrom has the team’s most shorthanded ice time per game with 1:56. The center also had 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists), averaged 18:44 of ice time and was a plus-23 in 61 games this season. Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy four times and is looking to get his fifth which would set a record for a single player winning the award.

“It’s always a great recognition obviously,” Bergeron said. “You have to also realize you keep in mind that it is a team sport. I wouldn’t be here without the help of my teammates. It’s the same thing every year. It’s one of those things where you can’t accomplish that on your own. I’ve been fortunate enough to play on great teams, great lines and been coached by great coaches. That has helped me tremendously over the years.”

This will also be Bergeron’s ninth season in a row having been named a finalist for the Selke Trophy. However, he last won the award in 2016-17.

The Boston Bruins are one of four round-robin teams in the Eastern Conference and will play as the No. 1 seed. They’re going to play against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier
Philadelphia Flyers forward Sean Couturier is a two-time Selke Trophy finalists and was the runner-up behind Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar in 2017-18. Image courtesy: Yong Kim

Couturier led the league in face-off winning percentage (59.6 percent) and finished third in defensive-zone face-off winning percentage (59.5 percent). He came in first among all Flyers forwards in average ice time per game (19:50) and shorthanded ice time (140:29). The Selke Trophy finalist had 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) and was plus-21 in 69 games this season. This is Couturier’s second time being named a finalist for the award. He was also the runner-up to Los Angeles Kings’ forward Anze Kopitar in 2017-18.

“It’s nice to be honored and recognized by the media,” Couturier said. “It reflects on the year that the team had as well. I try to pay attention to details and do the right things all the time, be on the right side of the puck and reliable in all aspects of the game. I try to take pride in that.”

The Philadelphia Flyers are also one of the four round-robin teams in the Eastern Conference and will play as the No. 4 seed. They will also compete against the Bruins, Lightning and Capitals to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly won the Selke Trophy last seaon.
St. Louis Blues forward Ryan O’Reilly won the Selke Trophy last season and is also named a finalist for the Lady Byng Award. Image courtesy: Jeff Curry

O’Reilly led the league in face-off wins for a third straight season (880) and led in face-offs taken (1,556). The Blues center also finished in seventh in face-off winning percentage (56.6 percent) and took the most defensive-zone face-offs (593). The defending Conn Smythe winner had 61 points (12 goals, 49 assists), a plus-11 rating, 42 blocked shots and an average ice time of 20:34 per game. He also came in second among Blues forwards in average shorthanded ice time with 2:09. O’Reilly won the Selke Trophy last season and was also named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy this season.

The St. Louis Blues are one of the four round-robin teams in the Western Conference and will play as the top seed. They will also compete against the Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 2020 NHL Awards was scheduled to happen on June 25 in Las Vegas but was postponed on March 25 due to the ongoing pandemic.

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