Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has been named a finalist for the NHL's Frank J. Selke Trophy, given annually to the forward "who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," for the seventh straight season. He's nominated along with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar and Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier.
Bergeron is one of only two players in NHL history to win the Selke Trophy four times, sharing the honor with Hall of Famer Bob Gainey. The winner will be announced at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on June 20, as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
All three finalists have long been considered among the best two-way forwards in the league. This season, they also scored at a high level to go with their elite defense from the center position.
Bergeron scored 30 goals and 63 points in just 64 games, while Kopitar and Couturier both posted career-best scoring totals. Kopitar crossed the 90-point mark for the first time (35 goals, 57 assists for 92 points) while Couturier posted new highs of 31 goals and 45 assists.
Kopitar and Bergeron have combined to win the past four Selke Trophies. Bergeron won in 2014, 2015, and 2017 (in addition to 2012), while Kopitar earned the hardware for the first time in his career in 2016.
The Selke winner typically plays closer to a full season, which should hurt Bergeron's chances against worthy candidates like Kopitar and Couturier, who each played 82 games this season. The last winner to play less than 78 games was Kris Draper, who played 67 games for the Detroit Red Wings in 2003-04.
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