NEW YORK -- Centers Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks and Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild are the three finalists for the 2016-17 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is 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 announced Wednesday, June 21, during the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Bergeron was the NHL's busiest player in the face-off circle for third consecutive season, leading the League with 1,812 draws and 1,089 wins. His face-off win percentage of 60.1% ranked third in the NHL. Bergeron also ranked first overall in the team puck possession metric SAT (shot attempts differential), as the Bruins registered 439 more shot attempts than they allowed when Bergeron was on the ice while each team had five skaters per side. The three-time Selke winner is a finalist for the sixth consecutive year, matching the streak of Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk (2008 through 2013) as the longest since the award was introduced in 1978.
Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks
Kesler ranked third in the NHL with a career-high 1,029 face-off wins and posted the sixth-best win percentage (57.4%). Among forwards, he led the NHL in shifts/game (27.5), was third in average ice time per game (21:18), fourth in average shorthanded time (2:43) and sixth in blocked shots (75). In the defensive zone, Kesler topped the NHL in total face-offs (773) and face-off wins (429). Kesler is a Selke finalist for the second consecutive season and for the fifth time overall. He finished third in 2016 with Anaheim and was a finalist in each season from 2009 through 2011 with Vancouver, capturing the award in 2011.
Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
Koivu tied for third place among NHL forwards in plus-minus with a career-high +27, the second-best rating ever recorded by a Wild forward. He ranked fifth in the NHL in face-off wins (938) and was sixth in face-offs taken (1,699) for a winning percentage of 55.2%. Koivu set a career high in blocked shots (65) and led all Wild forwards in average ice time per game (19:06) and average shorthanded time (1:49). The Minnesota captain also became the franchise's all-time leader in shorthanded points (10-12--22) on March 16. Koivu is a first-time NHL Awards finalist and the second in franchise history for the Selke Trophy, following a third-place finish by Wes Walz in 2003.
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.
The three finalists for NHL trophies are being announced by NBCSN in the United States and Sportsnet/TVA in Canada on Stanley Cup Playoff broadcasts through May 2, during pregame programming. The series of announcements continues on Thursday, April 20, when the three finalists for the Calder Trophy will be unveiled.
2017 NHL Awards & NHL Expansion Draft at T-Mobile Arena
The 2017 NHL Awards returns to Las Vegas and includes the NHL Expansion Draft in a two-hour television program. The 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft will celebrate the League's top talent from the 2016-17 season and reveal the initial roster of the League's 31st team, the Vegas Golden Knights, on Wednesday, June 21, at T-Mobile Arena.
Televised live in the United States on NBCSN and in Canada on Sportsnet at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, the 2017 NHL Awards will showcase hockey and Hollywood's biggest stars with the excitement and energy that only Las Vegas can provide. As part of the program, the Golden Knights' 30 selections in the NHL Expansion Draft will be revealed, providing the home fans - and national viewing audience - the opportunity to learn the initial composition of the team's roster. The show will highlight team Majority Owner Bill Foley and General Manager George McPhee as well as select players chosen by the Golden Knights, who begin NHL play in 2017-18.
Information on an exclusive ticket pre-sale for Golden Knights season-ticket holders will be sent by the club in the coming days. This opportunity is for tickets to the 2017 NHL Awards and NHL Expansion Draft and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Tickets will be available for purchase to the general public beginning on Wednesday, May 3, at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT.
A full line-up of presenters and entertainment as well as official fan travel and hospitality packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In addition, fans can tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.