Bergeron, Couturier, O’Reilly named 2019-20 Selke Trophy finalists

The NHL announced its finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the best defensive forward and the James Norris Trophy for the top defenseman, and Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron could set a new NHL record for most Selke wins.

Patrice Bergeron, Sean Couturier, and Ryan O’Reilly were named finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy on Monday, awarded annually to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”

The three finalists were determined via a vote by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Bergeron has now been named a finalist for the award a record nine times in a row. The Boston Bruins forward has won it four times (2011-12, back-to-back in 2013-14 and 2014-15, and 2016-17).

O’Reilly is the reigning Selke winner. His elite two-way game was on centre stage last season with the St. Louis Blues, leading the franchise from the bottom of the standings to Stanley Cup Champions, also earning the Conn Smythe Trophy for his efforts.

Another Selke win for O’Reilly would make him the first player to claim the award in back-to-back seasons since his fellow finalist. He was also announced as a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy last week, given to the player “adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

A trusted face-off man with the Philadelphia Flyers, Couturier led the Selke field when the PHWA released its mid-season awards back in January. He’s been named a finalist once before, finishing second in voting behind Kings centreman Anze Kopitar in 2017-18.

“It’s nice to be honored and recognized by the media,” Couturier said in the Flyers’ press release. “It reflects on the year that the team had as well. I try to pay attention to details and do the right things all the time, be on the right side of the puck and reliable in all aspects of the game. I try to take pride in that.”

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