“I think he’s had a special year,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He’s one of those players you have to admire how he competes. His quickness, agility, anticipation and thought process defensively evolved and continued to get better and improved in his career.
“Offensively, he rose his game to another level. He had the puck a lot, helped our power play, helped our special teams, influenced us in our puck-possession game. He was complete in all aspects. Look at his number and the way he played, and I think he’s very deserving.”
Keith, 26, ranked second among defensemen in the regular season with a career-high 69 points, including a career-best 15 goals.
“It’s obviously a huge honor,” he said. “[I’m] pretty proud. A lot of hard work and I can’t say enough, it’s a huge honor. It’s great to be nominated.”
Keith credited his defensive partner and former Team Canada teammate Brent Seabrook.
“I’ve played a lot with him,” he said. “He’s helped me out a ton. I think we play pretty good together.
“Just to be nominated is a huge honor. You look at other people that have been nominated and other people who have won it, it’s a special category. One that I’m proud to be a part of.”