Skill level in hockey is most often judged by the amount of goals and points that a player registers. However, those two statistics don’t tell the entire story of how skilled a player is. The other aspect of hockey is the defensive game, and the ability to slow down or even eliminate the opposition’s offense. The Frank J. Selke Trophy acknowledges that skill set at the NHL level, as it is awarded to the forward that demonstrates the most skill in the defensive aspect of the game. Players that win the award are able to excel at both ends of the ice, and given the list of recent winners, the current favorite to win the award this year is no surprise. When it comes to betting NHL futures, check out betting on sports online at www.lowvig.ag.
Chicago Blackhawks’ captain Jonathan Toews is the reigning Selke winner, as he took home the trophy for the first time a year ago. Toews has always been an outstanding two-way player, and the numbers he has put up this year are testament to that. The 25-year old is tied with Evgeni Malkin for 11th in the NHL in points with 47 in 49 games, averaging just below the point per game mark. However, the real disparity between those two players is in their plus/minus numbers, as Toews is a plus-21 compared to Malkin’s plus-nine – a 12-goal difference. The plus/minus rating is the most accurate stat available for determining the number of goals a player is on for compared to the number of goals against, and Toews is near the top of the list. Factor in that he can kill penalties and play in all situations as an elite center also capable of taking key defensive faceoffs, and you have one of the most complete players in the NHL.
It makes sense that the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks would feature a Selke candidate as their captain. There is another nominee for the award that skates for Chicago in winger Marian Hossa, who like Toews, can play in all situations and is very defensively responsible. Hossa has 17 goals and 39 points through 44 games, and he is also a plus-24. It’s no surprise that the best team in the league has multiple players that can do everything, and Hossa joins Toews as one of those Selke Candidates.
Rounding out the list of Selke candidates is another forward that excels in all situations is Los Angeles Kings’ center Anze Kopitar, who despite his consistently strong numbers is still very underrated. Kopitar has 39 points in 48 games as the top center for the Kings, and his plus-24 rating is one of the best in the NHL. Kopitar also plays in all situations and is one of the better centers in the league, so he definitely deserves some recognition for everything he has been able to do. A lot can happen between now and the end of the season, but right now Kopitar deserves to be on this list along with Toews and Hossa, as the top three candidates to win the Frank J. Selke award this season. For a full list of NHL and horse betting odds, check out these horse betting sites.
Riplo Disuza is a sports enthusiast and blogger who loves to keep up with the best online sports betting sites and place bets and predictions on all his favourite players and teams. He recently discovered LowVig’s sports books and was impressed by the fact that they let him bet on all his favourite sports, from horse racing to hockey.