Ducks center Ryan Kesler
has been named a finalist for the 2015-16 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
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 (also Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings). The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 22, during the 2016 NHL Awards at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
A four-time Selke Trophy finalist, Kesler previously won the award as a member of the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010-11 NHL season. The 6-2, 202-pound center appeared in his second season with Anaheim in 2015-16, scoring 21-32=53 points with a +5 rating and 78 penalty minutes (PIM) in 79 games. Co-leading all NHL forwards in blocked shots (92), Kesler helped the Ducks record the lowest team goals-against average in the NHL (2.29) for the first time in club history. He ranked second among league leaders in faceoff win percentage and ranked sixth in faceoff wins (980), while winning at least 50% of his draws in 58-of-79 games. Over his final 56 contests, Kesler won a league-best 59.9% of his draws.
Kesler led the NHL in shorthanded faceoff wins (168) and defensive-zone faceoff wins (441), and ranked third among forwards in shorthanded ice time (217:29). Helping lead the Ducks to NHL’s top penalty kill percentage (87.2%), Kesler finished the regular season pacing the club in faceoff win percentage (58.5%), faceoff wins (980) and hits (168), ranking second in goals and assists, and third in scoring and PPG (5). He collected 8-12=20 points with a +12 rating in his final 17 games from Mar. 3-Apr. 9. During that stretch, Kesler led Anaheim in scoring, assists and plus/minus, and ranked second in goals.
Kesler is the second Duck to be named a finalist for the Selke Trophy, joining center Samuel Pahlsson in 2006-07.