Ranking the Top Candidates for the Selke Trophy in 2014-15 NHL Season

December 19th, 2014 by Allan Mitchell Leave a reply »
The NHL awards the Frank J. Selke Trophy annually to the forward who "displays the most skill in the defensive component of the game." It's a decidedly vague definition and in the last decade has been less likely to be awarded to a true defensive specialist.

Most of the winners since 2005 have been significant offensive players who also deliver a two-way game. The era of defense-first forwards like Kris Draper or Mike Peca are gone, leaving us with a less defined definition for the award.

Our look at Selke candidates will include a possession metric, the Corsi number. It is defined by Gabriel Desjardins as shot differential while a player is on the ice. All of the men on this list are exceptional in the discipline. Context is important when reading these numbers. The top-ranked center currently—Nashville's Colin Wilson—does not play tough opposition and receives a zone-start push. Those circumstances mean he would not be considered for the Selke Trophy.

The favorites this year resemble those of the past decade: Respected two-way forwards with a significant offensive kicker. Here are the 2014-15 favorites for the Selke Award.

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