And the nominees for the 2017 Frank J. Selke Trophy are……. Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins, and Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks.
The Frank J. Selke is awarded to ” the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game”, which is to say the best two-way forward. This is Bergeron’s 6th nomination, and he has won it 3 times before. Kesler’s been nominated for the 5th time, and has won it once before. This is Koivu’s first nomination.
Mikko Koivu scored 18 goals and 58 points in 80 games this year. He had a 5v5 CF% of 49.65, and a 5v5 xGF% of 58.16. He had a face-off win percentage of 55.2, and averaged 1:49 of short-handed ice-time per game. Although Koivu wasn’t a positive possession player, his opponents were generally taking low-percentage shots, as he was very good in xGF%, meaning while he was on the ice, his team was getting more scoring chances than the other team. Koivu is tied for first in points among nominees this year, while being a steady defensive presence for the Wild this year.
Patrice Bergeron scored 21 goals and 53 points in 79 games this year. He had a 5v5 CF% of 61.14, and a 5v5 xGF% of 61.57. He had a face-off win percentage of 60.1, and averaged 2:09 of short-handed ice-time per game. He was a dominant possession and scoring chance generator, and yet again was one of the best defensive forwards in the game. He’s the main reason the Bruins were the second best 5v5 CF% team in the NHL. Bergeron could win the award every year and nobody should be surprised, he’s that good.
Ryan Kesler scored 22 goals and 58 points in 82 games this year. He had a 5v5 CF% of 51.39, and a 5v5 xGF% of 54.97. He had a face-off win percentage of 57.4, and averaged 2:43 of short-handed ice-time per game. Kesler helped the Ducks to another Pacific Division championship, and was a great possession player, controlling more than half of shot attempt and scoring chances 5v5. He’s first among nominees in short-handed time on ice per game, and first in goals among nominees. Kesler was a key player for the Ducks in both ends of the ice this season, and is very deserving of a nomination this year.
And the winner is……
Patrice Bergeron. While Bergeron started the season slow offensively, he turned in on in later in the season and once again scored at least 20 goals and 50 points, while being one of the best possession player on one of the best possession teams, and once again earned his reputation as one of, if not the best, defensive forwards in the game. It should come as no shock to anyone when Bergeron wins his 4th Selke Trophy, putting him in a tie for most wins of all time with Bob Gainey. Although Kesler and Koivu had great season in their own rights, and certainly earned their nominations, this award is pretty much a lock for Bergeron every year, and unless he retires or takes a big step back, he’ll be winning many more of these in the future.