It’s no surprise to see Pavel Datsyuk’s name as a finalist for the Selke Trophy, but he’ll have some competition to win the NHLs prize as the league’s best defensive forward this year.
The NHL announced the three finalists for the Selke Trophy and going up against Datsyuk will be Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Blues captain David Backes.
Datsyuk is a three-time winner of the Selke Trophy taking the hardware home in three straight seasons from 2007-08 to 2009-2010. Datsyuk was a finalist again last year but lost out to Canucks forward Ryan Kesler. This is Datsyuk’s fifth time being nominated for the award.
Bergeron and Backes are each first-time finalists for the award and both have impressive résumés.
Backes led the Blues in hits with 226 while also leading the team in faceoffs taken. Backes also blocked 72 shots and was a +15 in plus/minus this year. Bergeron, on the other hand, led the Bruins in shorthanded time-on-ice and won 59.2% of his faceoffs during the year, good for second in the league behind Jonathan Toews.
The winner will be announced on June 20 in Las Vegas.