NEW YORK – Detroit center Pavel Datsyuk has a shot at winning a fourth straight Frank Selke Trophy, being nominated Wednesday along with Vancouver's Ryan Kesler and Chicago's Jonathan Toews for the award given to the NHL's best defensive forward.
The winner will be announced at the NHL awards banquet June 22 in Las Vegas.
Datsyuk, who has captured the award three straight years, ranked 11th in the league with 71 takeaways despite playing in just 56 games this season. He had a plus-11 rating and led the Red Wings with a 54.6 percent faceoff percentage. He would become the first player to win the Selke for four consecutive seasons since the Canadiens' Bob Gainey won it from 1978-'81.
Kesler helped the Canucks record the lowest team goals-against average in the NHL (2.20) for the first time in franchise history. He had 80 blocked shots and led the Canucks with a 57.4 faceoff percentage. He also had 124 hits, a team-high 65 takeaways and a plus-24 rating.
He finished second in the Selke voting last year and was third in 2009.
Toews led all Chicago forwards with a career-high plus-25 rating. He was second in the NHL with 95 takeaways and won 56.7 of his faceoffs. Toews also delivered 74 hits and blocked 28 shots. The Chicago captain is a first-time Selke finalist.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for the Selke Trophy at the end of the regular season.