In what’s become a right of spring in the NHL, Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron has been named a 2023 Selke Trophy finalist.
This is the 12th straight season the Boston Bruins forward has been nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, given annually to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game as judged by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Bergeron broke the NHL record by winning his fifth Selke Trophy last season. He also won the award in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
Patrice Bergeron scored 27 goals and 31 assists in 78 games this season and finished with a plus-35 rating, which was ranked fourth amongst NHL forwards. As always, the 37-year-old Boston Bruins center owned the faceoff dot this past season. The 6-foot-1, 196-pound, pivot was one of only two players in the NHL to take 1,700 or more faceoffs and led the NHL with 1,043 faceoff wins. He also led the league with a 61.1 faceoff win percentage (minimum 1,000 faceoffs).
As they always seemed to do, Bergeron’s teammates followed his lead and the Boston Bruins allowed a league-low 2.1 goals per game. Thanks to Bergeron’s defensive tenacity and dominance, the team’s penalty kill also finished atop the NHL with an 87.3 success rate.
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner, and New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier were the other Selke Trophy finalists.
Hischier, 24, finished with a career-best +33 rating and team-leading 64 takeaways. That helped the Devils lower its goals-against average from 3.68 last season (29th), to 2.71 in 2022-23 (8th overall), this season. Like Bergeron, Hischier was a force at the faceoff dot, setting franchise records for total draws (1,654) and wins (891), that both ranked fifth in the NHL.
With 104 takaways, Marner, 25, became one of just seven players to reach the century mark since the statistic was introduced in the 1997-98 regular season. Marner ranked second among Toronto forwards and 13th among all NHL forwards in total shorthanded time (182:59). Marner also had 30 goals and 69 assists becoming one of only two players with 99 points or more and that amount of total shorthanded time in a season. The other is Paul Kariya with the Anaheim Ducks in 1998-99. If Marner wins the Selke Trophy he will be only the second Maple Leafs player to win the award with Doug Gilmour winning it 30 years ago, when the Leafs made it to Game 7 of the 1993 Campbell Conference Final before losing to Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings.