by PuckStopsHere on 11/16/13 at 04:27 PM ET
One award I have yet to make an early season pick for is the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward. I think the leader at this point is Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins. Bergeron won this award in 2012. He is the player in the league who can most overcome playing a tough defensive role with a high number of defensive zone starts against tough competition and nevertheless have his team take control of the puck and gain offensive opportunities. Despite starting 57% of his non-neutral zone shifts in the defensive zone, he ends over 55% in the offensive zone. Despite this tough role, he has the eighth best Corsi rate among forwards who have played a regular role this season. These numbers show that he is extremely valuable defensively.
The case that he won't win the Selke - assuming his play holds up the rest of the season - would be based on his lack of offensive success. He has 11 points in 19 games, which isn't bad but it won't make him appear in any scoring leaders list. The Selke Trophy shouldn't be one where offence matters, but recent results show that it is. Perhaps with Bergeron's reputation and past success in Selke voting this might be overlooked. It might be harder for a first-time candidate unless he is a top scorer. Defensively he deserves the Selke Trophy based upon the season so far.
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