Boston forward Patrice Bergeron was named as this year’s winner of the Selke trophy at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening as he takes home the honors as the best defensive forward.
Bergeron won the award in 2011-2012 and beat out last year’s winner Jonathan Toews who finished in third place and Anze Kopitar who finished as the runner-up. We could see a rivalry between Toews and Bergeron for this award in the years to come as they are consistently lauded for their defensive abilities as two of the best two-way centers in the game today.
The 6-2, 194-pound center recorded a career-high plus-38 this season, he was a plus-36 when he won the Selke two years ago. The win by Bergeron is the first repeat winner since Pavel Datsyuk won the award three straight times from 2007-2010.
As great as the 28-year-old center was on the defensive end, it’s his offensive ability that may have pushed him past Kopitar and Toews for the defensive award, as odd as that may sound. Somewhat similar to Gold Glove winners needing to hit well enough to win the award in Major Lueague Baseball.
Bergeron recorded his first 30-goal season since his second year in the NHL in 2005-2006 when he recorded 30 goals to go along with his 32 assists to finish with 62 points.
The trophy was first awarded after the 1977-1978 season and has seen 23 different players win the award named after Frank J. Selke, the former general manager of the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.