NEW YORK -- Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks are the three finalists for the 2014-15 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.
All three were Selke finalists in 2013-14, when Bergeron, Kopitar and Toews finished 1-2-3, respectively, in balloting. This marks the first time in 18 years that the same trio has swept finalist berths for a trophy in consecutive seasons: Paul Kariya, Adam Oates and Teemu Selanne were the top three contenders for the Lady Byng Trophy in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
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 24, during the 2015 NHL Awards from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following are the finalists for the Frank Selke Trophy, in alphabetical order:
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Bergeron was the NHL's top performer in the face-off circle in 2014-15, leading the League in total face-offs (1,951), wins (1,175) and winning percentage (60.2%). He also ranked among the League's top five forwards in a host of statistics that measure team puck possession while on the ice at five-on-five, including SAT (shot attempts differential), SAT Rel% (ratio of player's on-ice SAT vs. off-ice SAT) and SAT Close (SAT in one-goal games in periods 1 and 2, tie games in period 3). Bergeron is a Selke Trophy finalist for the fourth consecutive season; he captured the award in 2012 and 2014 and finished runner-up to Toews in 2013.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings
Kopitar led Kings forwards in ice time per game (19:23) and was the top face-off man
(752-678, 52.6%) on the club that ranked fourth in the NHL in team defense, allowing an average of 2.40 goals per game. He was the NHL's top-ranked forward in the team puck possession metric SAT (shot attempts differential), as the Kings registered 363 more shot attempts than they allowed when Kopitar was on the ice at five-on-five. The 27-year-old center will be vying for multiple honors in Las Vegas, already having been announced as a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks
Toews played a key role in helping the Blackhawks tie for the fewest goals against in the NHL and post the 11th 100-point season in franchise history (fifth since 2008-09). He led all Western Conference players and ranked fifth in the League overall with a career-best +30 rating, ranked fourth in the NHL in face-off wins (947) and sixth in face-off winning percentage (56.5%), and topped Blackhawks forwards in total ice time (1,584:36, 19:33 per game). A Selke finalist for the fourth time in five years, the Blackhawks captain is in quest of a second career win after capturing the award in 2012-13.
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 5, during pregame programming from 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., ET. The series of announcements continues on Thursday, April 23, when the three finalists for the Calder Trophy will be unveiled.
IMG will produce the 2015 NHL Awards™, under the direction of executive producer Steve Mayer.
A full line up of presenters and entertainment, information on broadcasting and tickets, as well as hospitality and travel packages through PrimeSport will be announced at a future date. In what has become an annual tradition, EA SPORTS will be unveiling the Cover Athlete for the upcoming launch of NHL 16. In addition, fans can enter for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards™ at www.NHL.com/Vegas and tweet about the event using the official hashtag #NHLAwards.