Jonathan Toews Finalist for The Selke Trophy

By Sean Fitzgerald

Apr 19, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) beats Nashville Predators center Matt Cullen (7) to the puck in a face-off during the second period in game three of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL has announced it’s finalsist for the 2014-15 Selke Trophy. The Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews along with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Los Angles Anze Kopitar are the three finalists. The Frank J. Selke trophy is given to “the forward who best excels in the defense aspect of the game”. The Selke trophy was first awarded in 1977-78.

All three finalists were the same three finalists in 2013-14. Toews finished third in the voting behind Kopitar and Bergeron. This is first time in 18 years that the same trio has been nominated for trophy in consecutive years.

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Toews this season played a pivotal role in the Blackhawks success. The Blackhawks allowed the fewest goals against in the league and posted their 11th 100 point season in franchise history. That is there fifth season 100 point season since 2008-09. Toews lead all Western Conference players and ranked fifth in the league overall with a +30 rating. He ranked 4th in the NHL in face-off wins with 947 and sixth in faceoff percentage with 56.5%. Toews lead all Blackhawks forwards in total ice time with 1,584:36, averaging out to 19:33 per game. This is Toews fourth nomination in five seasons. Toews is looking for his second Selke Trophy after winning in it 2012-13.

Toews is one three Blackhawks in franchise history to win the award. Current Blackhawks radio color man Troy Murray won the award in 1986 and Dirk Graham won in 1991.

The other two finalists Bergeron and Kopitar also had impressive defensive seasons. Bergeron had the most faceoffs (1,951) faceoff wins (1,175) and winning percentage 60.2% in the NHL. Bergeron is a Selke finalist for the fourth consecutive year. Bergerson has won in 2012 and 2014. He finished runner up to Toews in 2013.

Kopitar was the Kings top forward in ice time with 19:23 per games and the  teams top faceoff man at 52.6%.  Kopitar will try to win two awards as he is also a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.

The Bruins and Kings were both eliminated for playoff contention this season.

The NHL awards will be announced during the NHL award show on June 24th in Las Vegas Nevada. The award is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers Association at the end of the regular season.

The Blackhawks series with Predators resumes Thursday in Nashville at 8:30pm central time. The game can be seen locally on CSN and Nationally on NBCSN.

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