The National Hockey League announced the three finalists for the Frank Selke Trophy on Tuesday with Pavel Datsyuk, Ryan Kesler and Mike Richards getting the honours.
The Selke is awarded "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game."
Detroit Red Wings' Datsyuk is a finalist for the second consecutive season and is also a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy. Last season he became the second player in NHL history to capture both awards (Pittsburgh's Ron Francis - 1995). Datsyuk ranked second among NHL players in takeaways with 89, placed third in plus-minus (plus-34) and won 56% of his face-offs (636 of 1,135).
Kesler helped the Canucks to the fourth-best defensive record in the Western Conference and seventh in the NHL, Vancouver only allowed 220 goals-against last season. He led the Canucks in takeaways (74) and ranked first among Vancouver forwards in shorthanded ice time per game (3:19). He also scored two shorthanded goals, had a plus-8 rating and won a career-high 54% of his face-offs (527 of 976).
Richards with a plus-22 for the Flyers, second on the team. He led the NHL and tied a franchise record with seven shorthanded goals and had nine shorthanded points in total. He became the first NHL player to score three career goals being down by two men. Richards also scored shorthanded goals in three consecutive games (Feb. 15-21). It was the first time the feat had been accomplished since Joe Sakic did it back in 1998 (Oct. 15-24).