Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is a finalist for the Selke Trophy for the third straight season, the NHL announced Thursday.
The Selke is awarded to the league’s best defensive forward. Bergeron won it in the 2011-12 season. Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, who won last season, and the Los Angeles Kings’ Anze Kopitar are the other finalists.
“It’s definitely a huge honor. I mean it goes to the help of all my teammates, definitely. There’s no individual awards that don’t go without the help of all your teammates, so that’s all I can really say. I have other things on my mind right now, which is the playoffs,” Bergeron said in Detroit, where the Bruins face the Red Wings in Game 4 of their series on Thursday night.
Bergeron was third in the NHL this season in faceoffs won, and he scored 30 goals to tie Jarome Iginla for the team lead. He also had 32 assists.
“He makes you proud because he’s well deserving of that. He has been for years now,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “Always up there in plus-minus, always plays against top players, produces, got 30 goals this year, and that’s playing against top lines. I can’t find a better candidate than him, and certainly deservces the nomination. We’ll see where it goes, but in our regard he’s been the best.”
Wing Reilly Smith said playing alongside Bergeron has helped Smith’s development.
“He’s helped me tons. You learn something new from Bergy everyday. It’s been great for me as a young player to be able to play with someone like that and pick up lessons along the way,” Smith said. “It’s unbelievable. He’s been great all year. You can’t say enough about his character and his leadership inside the dressing room as well. It’s well deserved.”
The NHL Awards will be announced June 24 in Las Vegas. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is among the likely contenders for the Vezina Trophy awarded to the league’s best goalie.Follow Matt Pepin on Twitter at @mattpep15. Follow Amalie Benjamin on Twitter at @amaliebenjamin.