Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron has won the Selke Trophy each of the past two seasons and three of the past four. A win this season would tie him with Hockey Hall of Fame member Bob Gainey for the most all-time. And with the way Bergeron has excelled in the defensive aspects of the game the past five seasons, it's no surprise he is the preseason favorite for the Selke Trophy for the 2015-16 season.
Enhanced statistics have become the norm in the NHL, and Bergeron has been at the top of most of the important categories. His shot-attempts percentage (SAT%) last season at 5-on-5 was 58.09, which was sixth among forwards to play at least 50 games. Bergeron's SAT Relative, a ratio of his on-ice SAT% vs. his off-ice SAT%, was second at 8.9 percent.
Bergeron led the League in faceoff winning percentage at .602 percent while taking (1,951) and winning (1,175) the most faceoffs in the League.
The 30-year-old also led the Bruins in points (55) and shots on goal (234) averaging 18:07 of ice time per game, and was second with 60 blocked shots and 48 takeaways. He averaged 1:44 per game shorthanded on a Bruins penalty kill that was 12th in the League at 82.0 percent.
Bergeron has excelled at his defensive game for a number of seasons, and there's little reason to think he won't win the Selke Trophy again.
Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks -- Toews is one of the most gifted offensive and defensive players in the League. In addition to his Blackhawks-leading 28 goals and 66 points, he led them with a plus-30 rating averaging 19:33 of ice time per game. Toews was seventh in the League at 56.5 percent on faceoffs, and had two goals and three assists shorthanded.
Toews' SAT% was 55.79 and the Blackhawks had 249 more shot attempts when he was on the ice than when he was off it. His play was a reason the Blackhawks allowed 186 non-shootout goals, the second-fewest in the League.
He is the only player other than Bergeron to win the Selke since 2011; Toews won it in 2013, and has been a runner-up three times.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings -- Kopitar led the Kings with 64 points, and led Kings forwards in average ice time per game at 19:23, and in shorthanded ice time at 1:40 per game. He led NHL forwards with a 5-on-5 shot-attempts differential of 363.
Kopitar won 52.6 percent of his faceoffs (752 of 1,430) and was second among Kings forwards with 46 blocked shots and 29 takeaways (tied) in 79 games. The 28-year-old has been a Selke Trophy finalist the past two seasons.
ALSO IN THE MIX: Ryan Kesler, Anaheim Ducks; Tomas Tatar, Detroit Red Wings; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks