The 2013 edition of the NHL Awards will be a lackluster broadcast on the NHL Network, and NHL.com, starting tonight at 5 PM ET. Tonight about half of the awards will be handed out, and it will conclude tomorrow night with the remainder of the awards being named just before the puck drops on Game Two of the Stanley Cup Finals. Today we preview the best defensive forwards in the league today, running for the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded every season to the “forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.”
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
Datsyuk is no stranger to Selke conversation. The Wings’ top forward is a three-time winner of the award, tied for second all-time in Selke wins. Datsyuk was tied for the league lead in takeaways this season, (56) led his Red Wings in plus-minus at +21, and won 55% of his faceoffs, on the way to the Red Wings’ 22nd consecutive playoff berth. He also wears the “A” for the Wings.
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Bergeron, the current Selke holder, ranked sixth in the league, and led his Boston Bruins, in plus minus at +24. Bergeron spends time on the first powerplay and penalty kill unit, and saw more ice than any other Boston forward this season. He also spends 2:12 a game shorthanded, a very impressive stat. He led the league in faceoff percentage, at just over 62%. Bergeron is an assistant captain for the Bruins.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Toews seems to be the favourite to win the Selke in his second crack at the award, after having what some say is his best regular season of his career. Toews finished third in the league with a career-best +28 rating, and was just behind Bergeron in faceoff percentage, taking second place at 59.9%. Toews shared the league lead in takeaways (56) with Datsyuk. He is the captain of the Blackhawks.
The winner will be announced tonight, and Jonathan Toews seems to have the best chance at taking home the hardware. He is a complete player like no other, and seemed to reach another level after being concussed at the tail-end of last season.
Tune in to NHL.com or the NHL Network at 5PM ET to see the winner!
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