DETROIT — Once again, Pavel Datsyuk has been named a finalist a for the Frank Selke Trophy, which is awarded “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
Datsyuk has won it the last three seasons.
“No surprise there,” said Kris Draper, who won the award after the 2003-04 season. “We definitely know in this dressing room what a dominate two-way hockey player he is. It’s amazing what he does on both ends of the rink. To us and to me he’s the most complete hockey player in the NHL.”
Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler and Chicago’s Jonathan Toews are the other finalists.
Datsyuk could become the first player to win the award for four consecutive seasons since Bob Gainey of the Montreal Canadiens won it the first four seasons it was presented, from 1978 through 1981.
Datsyuk ranked 11th in the League in takeaways with 71 despite being limited to 56 games due to injury.
Datsyuk tied for second on the Red Wings in plus-minus with a +11 rating and was the club’s top face-off man, posting a 54.6-percent winning percentage. It was his seventh consecutive season posting a face-off winning percent of over 53.
“We all see it everyday and appreciate it,” defenseman Brad Stuart said. “For him to get the recognition is great, he deserves it.
And for him to get it even after missing a few games is every more remarkable.
“He’s just a special player, Stuart continued. “When you have your forwards that can make defensive plays, stripping pucks away from guys that just helps us on defense. Pav is one of the if not the best in the league.”