NEW YORK (April 20, 2010) -- Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins are the three finalists for the 2009-10 Frank Selke Trophy, awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," the National Hockey League announced today.
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Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association submitted ballots for the Frank Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists. The winner will be announced Wednesday, June 23, during the 2010 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.
Following are the finalists for the Frank Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings
A master at getting and keeping the puck, Datsyuk led the NHL in takeaways for the third time in the past four seasons with a career-high 132, nearly 60% more than second-place Ryan Kesler of Vancouver (83). Datsyuk ranked second on the Red Wings in plus-minus with a +17 rating and was the club's top face-off man, posting a 55% winning percentage (590 of 1,070). Datsyuk could become the first player to win the Selke Trophy for three consecutive seasons since Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens won it the first four seasons it was presented, from 1978 through 1981.
Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
Kesler ranked second in the League in takeaways (83), appeared in all 82 games and averaged a career-high 19:37 in ice time, second among Canucks forwards to Henrik Sedin. The speedy center ranked ninth among NHL centers in face-offs taken (1,401), winning a team-best and career-high 55% of them (772), led the Canucks in total shorthanded time (218:20), dished out 95 hits and recorded 73 blocked shots. Kesler has earned a berth as a Selke Trophy finalist for the second consecutive season, finishing third in last year's voting behind Datsyuk and Philadelphia's Mike Richards
Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh Penguins
Staal received plenty of ice time against the NHL's top centers in 2009-10, appearing in all 82 games and ranking third among Pittsburgh forwards in ice time per game (19:23), trailing only Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He played more shorthanded minutes (274:08) than every NHL forward except St. Louis' Jay McClement (306:53). The 21-year-old also led the Penguins in plus-minus with a career-best +19 rating. Staal is a Selke finalist for the first time and will be making his second trip to the NHL Awards, having finished third in voting for the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie in 2007.
The trophy was presented in 1977 by the National Hockey League Board of Governors in honor of Frank J. Selke, one of the great architects of Montreal and Toronto championship teams.