Auston Matthews, Aleksander Barkov and Jordan Staal named NHL’s Selke Trophy finalists

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews, Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal are the finalists for the Selke Trophy, given to the NHL’s best defensive forward.

Barkov has long been recognized as one of the league’s best defensive forwards and his sole Selke win came after the 2021-22 season. Barkov had 23 goals and 80 points in the regular season and posted his best-ever faceoff win rate of 57.3 percent. In Dom Luszczyszyn’s awards watch, Barkov finished the season with the highest defensive rating of any forward. Barkov helped the Panthers tie for first place in goals-against per game (2.41).



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Matthews is a Selke finalist for the first time. Before this season, he never finished higher than 10th in Selke voting. The Maple Leafs forward finished the season with a league-leading 69 goals and 107 points in 81 games. This came in a season where Matthews was given more responsibility on the penalty kill than any other in his eight-year career. Matthews also finished second in takeaways among forwards (85) and second in blocked shots (93).

Staal was last a finalist for the Selke following the 2009-10 season when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 18-year NHL veteran was the Hurricanes’ most-used forward on the league’s best penalty kill (86.4 percent) and finished the season with a 58.1 faceoff win rate. Staal contributed 10 goals and 30 points in 80 games this season.

Retired centre Patrice Bergeron won his sixth Selke Trophy last year, the most all time of any NHL player.

The finalists for the Willie O’Ree Community Award will be announced Monday. This week will also see the finalists revealed for the Ted Lindsay Award, the league’s best player according to his peers, and the Hart Trophy for the league’s most valuable player.

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(Photo of Auston Matthews and Aleksander Barkov: Claus Andersen / Getty Images)

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