The NHL began announcing the finalists for its end-of-season awards on Tuesday.
The first three players honored were the finalists for the Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron, New Jersey’s Nico Hischier, and Toronto’s Mitch Marner are all up for the trophy.
Bergeron, in what could be his final NHL season, is the favorite. It’s the 12th consecutive year he’s been a finalist for the award. He’s won the Selke five different times.
Of course he is.
For the 12th consecutive season, Patrice Bergeron is a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) May 2, 2023
The NHL will continue announcing finalists throughout the week. See all the players up for awards here.
The NHL’s full press release is below:
Bergeron, Hischier and Marner Voted Selke Trophy Finalists
NEW YORK (May 2, 2023) – Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner are the three finalists for the 2022-23 Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game,” the National Hockey League announced today.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be revealed live during the 2023 NHL Awards at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on Monday, June 26 (8 p.m. ET, TNT, SN, TVAS).
Following are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins
Bergeron was a standout performer on the record-breaking, 65-win Bruins team that posted the NHL’s lowest team goals-against average (2.12) in nine years. The Bruins captain led the NHL in face-off wins (1,043) for the eighth time in his career and posted the top win percentage (61.1%) among the 52 centers that took at least 1,000 draws. He also led all Bruins in the puck possession metric SAT% (59.7), with Boston accounting for 59.7% of all shot attempts 5-on-5 when Bergeron was on the ice. He was on the ice for just 27 even-strength goals-against (78 GP). Bergeron is a Selke Trophy finalist for the 12th straight season, two years longer than the 10 consecutive top-three Hart Trophy finishes by Wayne Gretzky (1980 through 1989) as the longest ever for a voted NHL Award. Bergeron’s record five Selke wins (2011-12, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2021-22) are one more than Bob Gainey, who captured the trophy each of the first four years it was awarded (1978-81 w/ MTL).
Nico Hischier, C, New Jersey Devils
Hischier’s contributions helped New Jersey post a 49-point gain over 2021-22 and set franchise records for wins (52) and points (112) in a season. The Devils captain registered a career-best +33 rating and team-leading 64 takeaways as New Jersey lowered its goals-against average from 3.68 in 2021-22, which ranked 29th in the League, to 2.71 in 2022-23 (8th overall). He led all Devils forwards in shorthanded ice time (169:56) on the fourth-ranked penalty-killing unit in the League (82.6%) and set several franchise records in the face-off circle, including total draws (1,654) and wins (891), which both ranked fifth in the NHL. Hischier, selected first overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, is an NHL Awards finalist for the first time. The 24-year-old can become the first No. 1 NHL Draft pick ever to win the Selke. He looks to ascend the winner’s podium three years after compatriot Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators (Norris Trophy, 2020) became the first Swiss-born player to win an individual honor at the NHL Awards.
Mitchell Marner, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs
Marner led the NHL in takeaways with 104, becoming one of just seven players to reach the century mark since the statistic was introduced in 1997-98, as the Maple Leafs improved to seventh League-wide in team defense (2.68 goals-against per game). The team had finished 19th overall in 2021-22 at 3.07. Only four NHL forwards received more ice time than Marner, who logged a career-high 1702:06 (21:17 per game). Notable in that ice time was duty on the Maple Leafs’ top penalty-killing unit; he ranked second among Toronto forwards and 13th among all NHL forwards in total shorthanded time (182:59). In the 25 years ice time has been officially tracked, the only players with 99+ points and that amount of total shorthanded time in a season are Marner and Paul Kariya (Anaheim, 1998-99). Marner, a first time NHL Awards finalist, is vying to become the second Maple Leafs player to win the Selke exactly 30 years after franchise legend Doug Gilmour (1992-93) became the first.
The Frank J. Selke Trophy was presented in 1977 by the NHL’s Board of Governors in honor of Frank J. Selke, one of the great architects of Montreal’s and Toronto’s championship teams.
The three finalists for the 2023 NHL Awards are being announced through Friday, May 12. The series of announcements continues Wednesday, May 3, when the three finalists for the Calder Memorial Trophy will be unveiled.
Headline photo: NHL PR
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