The standards of what it ought to take to win the Selke Trophy could be the most fluid of all the NHL awards. By definition, it’s “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” But in actuality, it varies from yr to yr and from voter to voter. 

One interpretation could be by the letter of the award: who performs the very best protection? That can open up one other dialog on really measure that, particularly for forwards, outdoors of conventional metrics like blocks and plus/minus. 

But typically, particularly lately, the interpretation emphasizes two-way play — whether or not it’s gamers who’re legitimately robust on each ends of the ice, or the very best perceived defensive forwards sorted by factors. 

That gray space has made the Selke turn into such a tough award, from a course and evaluation standpoint. So, what ought to be the standards for being in consideration for this award and who’s in competition this yr?

To construct a subject of gamers that may very well be within the combine, we are able to have a look at two views: conventional versus data-driven. 

Prashanth Iyer constructed a mannequin to attempt to predict the winner of the award, primarily based on extra conventional metrics and examined it in opposition to earlier years. That mannequin has Patrice Bergeron main the race, together with Ryan O’Reilly, Elias Lindholm, final yr’s winner Aleksandar Barkov, and Mika Zibanejad. 

The extra conventional defensive metrics factored in favor of gamers like Jordan Staal and Joel Eriksson Ek. Scoring clearly is influential, although. Auston Matthews leads the league with 58 objectives and is one shy of hitting the 100-point mark.



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