Detroit Red Wings
center Pavel Datsyuk
has captured his third consecutive Frank Selke Trophy in recognition of "the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," as selected by the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
Datsyuk received 37 first-place votes and was named on 99 of 133 ballots for 688 points, edging Vancouver Canucks
center Ryan Kesler
(36 first-place votes, 655 points) in the closest race of 2009-10 NHL Awards voting.
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 Kesler (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 is 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.