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Thursday, April 24, 2014
Finalists named for Selke Trophy

ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Anze Kopitar, Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews are finalists for the NHL's Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward.

Bergeron
Boston's Patrice Bergeron led the NHL in face-off wins with 1,015 -- the most by any player in the past seven seasons.

The NHL announced the finalists Thursday, who were voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

Kopitar appeared in all 82 Los Angeles Kings games and had the second-most ice time among forwards behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby. The Kings allowed a league-low average of 2.05 goals per game.

Boston's Bergeron led the NHL in face-off wins with 1,015 -- the most by any player in the past seven seasons.

"It's definitely a huge honor," Bergeron said Thursday. "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."

Bruins coach Claude Julien has worked with Bergeron for the last seven seasons and has seen him develop into one of the best two-way players in the NHL.

"It makes you proud," Julien said. "He's well-deserving of that and he has been for years now. He's always up there in plus/minus. He always plays against top players. He produced 30 goals this year and that's playing against top lines, so I can't find a better candidate than him. He certainly deserves the nomination. In our regards, he's the best."

Chicago's Toews, who won the award last year, placed fifth in the NHL in face-off wins with 884.

"I'm excited. It's an honor," Toews said. "I think for any player to be nominated for an award is always a reflection not only of his own ability, but more so the teammates and the linemates he's playing with. (I've) been in a good situation all year, just like last year."

The winner will be honored June 24 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Janet Simmons of ESPNBoston.com contributed to this report.