Canucks’ Elias Pettersson not named Lady Byng or Selke Trophy finalist… yet
Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
27 days ago
He’s certainly going to get votes for both awards, but Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson did not receive enough votes to finish as a top three finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy and the Frank J. Selke Trophy.
The NHL announced the top three finalists for each award on Tuesday night.
The Selke finalists this year are Patrice Bergeron — of course — Nico Hischier, and Mitch Marner. The Selke award is given “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” Bergeron has won the Selke a record five times, including last season.
The Byng, which is awarded “to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability,” is going to go to one of Jack Hughes, Anze Kopitar, or Brayden Point.
Point took just one minor penalty while scoring a career-high 51 goals and putting up a career-high 95 points this season, while the middle Hughes sibling recorded six penalty minutes to go along with 99 points through 78 games. As for Kopitar, the 35-year-old put up 74 points for the first time since 2017-18 while tallying just four penalty minutes. Kopitar has won the Byng once before in 2015-16, and has won the Selke Trophy two times, in both the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
Members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association submitted ballots for both the Lady Byng Trophy and the Selke Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, with the top three vote-getters designated as finalists.
Elias Pettersson was certainly going to get consideration for both — he’s gotten votes for both awards in the past, after all — but it simply wasn’t enough to make him a finalist this season. Not yet, at least. Both awards, but the Selke especially, are commonly known as “reputation awards”, meaning the longer a player’s defensive game or sportsmanlike conduct are talked about, the more likely they are to win the award, despite what actually happened that particular season.
It feels like the national coverage of Pettersson’s game in both the United States and in Canada reached new heights this season. Analysts everywhere are now well aware of Pettersson’s defensive game, and his low penalty minutes will speak for themselves. It will be interesting to see the full voter breakdown when it’s released, as it will likely paint a picture of a player just beginning to get the recognition he deserves.
The NHL plans to announce the finalists for each of their league awards throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, culminating in announcing the winners of each award at the NHL Awards show in Nashville ahead of the draft in June.
The NHL Awards show takes place on Monday, June 26th at Bridgestone Arena.
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