The race for the Frank Selke Trophy (Best defensive forward)

One third into the 2010-11 NHL season, let’s have a look at the best defensive forwards in the league this year. I have compiled a list of the best 20 players that should be considered for this prestigious, yet underrated award.

Past winners since 2000-2001:
2000–01 John Madden New Jersey Devils C
2001–02 Michael Peca New York Islanders C
2002–03 Jere Lehtinen Dallas Stars RW
2003–04 Kris Draper Detroit Red Wings C
2004–05 NHL lockout – No winner
2005–06 Rod Brind’Amour Carolina Hurricanes C
2006–07 Rod Brind’Amour Carolina Hurricanes C
2007–08 Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings C
2008–09 Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings C
2009–10 Pavel Datsyuk Detroit Red Wings C

The following criteria were taking into account while compiling the list:
Points
+/- ratio (no players with a minus rating figure on the list)
Giveaways (subtracted)
Takeaways
Short-handed time on ice/game (minimum 1:45 SH TOI/game or three 35-second shifts on the penalty kill)

As a result some players were left out of the list such as Pavel Datsyuk (0:57), Derek Roy (1:27), Jeff Carter (1:00), Loui Eriksson (1:39), Nicklas Backstrom (1:24) and Alexander Semin (1:32) despite strong stats in the other categories. However, they can still make the list below if their short-handed time on ice/game increases until the end of the current campaign.

Player Team Points Plus/Minus Giveaways Takeaways SH TOI/Game Total
1. J. Toews CHI 24 6 12 31 2.25 51.25
2. M. Richards PHI 28 11 14 23 2.38 50.38
3. B. Ryan ANA 23 9 12 21 1.56 42.56
4. T. Plekanec MTL 25 7 9 17 2.43 42.43
5. A. Kopitar LA 24 4 14 23 2.12 39.12
6. A. Ladd ATL 27 1 5 14 1.51 38.51
7. R. Kesler VAN 17 3 7 22 2.24 37.24
8. A. Tanguay CAL 23 3 9 16 1.50 34.50
9. RJ Umberger CBS 19 9 7 11 2.26 34.26
10. C. Giroux PHI 25 4 10 12 2.35 33.35
11. D. Krejci BOS 16 9 2 8 1.56 32.56
12. B. Morrison CAL 16 2 10 21 1.47 30.47
13. M. Koivu MIN 20 3 20 25 1.48 29.48
14. J. Halpern MTL 14 9 3 5 2.36 27.36
15. D. Backes STL 17 5 7 10 1.59 26.59
16. M. Hossa CHI 18 4 17 20 1.54 26.54
17. B. Laich WAS 18 8 12 10 2.27 26.27
18. L. Korpikoski PHX 13 7 5 8 2.53 25.53
19. D. Cleary DET 18 4 7 7 1.58 23.58
20. S. Horcoff EDM 15 4 13 15 2.12 23.12

No surprise to see players like Toews, Richards, Kesler and Hossa among the leaders are they are well-known for their defensive abilities, but players like Jeff Halpern, Lauri Korpikowski and Brendan Morrison are surprisingly good defensively while providing some offensive for their respective teams.

Which player(s) surprise listed above surprise you the most? And why?

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About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com

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  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LightningShout and Fred Poulin, Fred Poulin. Fred Poulin said: The race for the Frank Selke Trophy (Best defensive forward) – http://hockeyindependent.com/blog/slasher98/27615/ #Toews #Plekanec #Halpern [...]

  2. Very intriguing to see how these forwards stack up based on this criteria. I hope you have some powerful spreadsheets to help you with this kind of analysis!

    As a Thrashers fan, nice to see Laddy at #6! Given more SH TOI and a few more points scored, wouldn’t be surprised to see Burmistrov and Bryan Little in the Top 30 – 40. Rammer’s got ‘em playing the D!

    Cheers!