A Calgary Flames player is one of the top three vote-getters for one of the National Hockey League’s most prestigious awards. Forward Elias Lindholm was named as one of three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy on Tuesday morning, alongside Florida’s Aleksander Barkov and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron. The trophy is awarded to the top defensive forward in the National Hockey League, as voted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
From the NHL’s release:
Lindholm posted a +61 rating in 82 games, behind only linemate Johnny Gaudreau (+64) as the NHL’s best in the past 34 years. He led Flames forwards in several key categories on a team that posted its lowest goals-against total over an 82-game season (206) since 2009-10, including blocked shots (52), takeaways (t-1st, 55), time on ice (19:57 per game) and average time while shorthanded (2:07) for the League’s sixth-best penalty-killing unit (83.2%). He also was one of the NHL’s top face-off performers, ranking third overall in total face-offs (1,592) and fifth in face-off wins (842) for a 52.9% win percentage. Lindholm, a first-time NHL Awards finalist, is the first Flames player voted a Selke finalist in 20 years, following the second-place finish by Craig Conroy in 2001-02. He is aiming to become the first player in franchise history to take home the award.
Lindholm played this past season (a) exclusively at centre and (b) almost exclusively with Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. As the two-way conscience on that line, Lindholm was superb. He won face-offs. He created turnovers. And there are a slew of superb scoring players that begin with a great play in the defensive or neutral zone and end with Gaudreau or Tkachuk doing something dazzling with the puck. All three players finished the season with 40 goals and sky-high plus/minuses, a testament to their collective offensive and defensive prowess. Lindholm’s two-way excellence is a massive reason for those results and he’s a tremendously well-deserving finalist for this award.
In addition to Conroy (2001-02), previous Flames finalists for the Selke Trophy include Joel Otto (1992-93, 1994-95) and Colin Patterson (1988-89).
Disclosure: While we’re discouraged from announcing our full ballots before awards results are announced, I was a voter this year and can say that Lindholm was one of the five players on my Selke ballot.
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