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Frank J. Selke Trophy

The Frank J. Selke Trophy is awarded annually to the National Hockey League forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game. The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association following the regular season. Named after Frank J. Selke, former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, the trophy has been awarded 35 times to 23 different players since the 1977–78 NHL season. The current holder is Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers.

Ryan O'Reilly St. Louis Blues Frank J. Selke Stanley Cup Conn Smythe Clarence Campbell
Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues poses with the Frank J. Selke Trophy, the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Campbell Conference Trophy at the 2019 NHL Awards. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Who Has Won the Most Selke Trophies?

Patrice Bergeron and Montreal Canadiens legend Bob Gainey are tied with four wins apiece. Gainey was selected as the winner of the trophy for the first four years of its existence until Boston Bruins‘ forward Steve Kasper broke his streak in 1982. Former Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk almost matched his feat in 2011, but Vancouver Canucks centre Ryan Kesler ended up winning it instead.

How is the Winner of the Selke Determined?

The winner is selected by a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association following the regular season.

Which Team Has the Most Selke Trophy Winners?

The Red Wings and Canadiens are tied with seven wins apiece. The Red Wings had Datsyuk with three, Sergei Fedorov with two, and Kris Draper and Steve Yzerman rounding it out with one each. While the Canadiens had Gainey with four and Guy Carbonneau with three.

Interesting Facts About the Selke

  • Fedorov is the only player to win the Selke Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy in the same season (1993-94)
  • There are six Selke Award winners in the Hockey Hall of Fame (Bob Gainey, Bobby Clarke, Doug Gilmour, Sergei Fedorov, Ron Francis, and Steve Yzerman)
  • The Canadiens and Red Wings were rivals when Frank Selke was GM of the Canadiens, so it’s fitting that they are tied with the most wins
Sergei Fedorov Detroit Red Wings
Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings (THW Archives)

Deeper Dive

Oldest & Youngest Selke Winners

Youngest to win the award: 20-years old, Steve Kasper – 1981-82

Oldest to win the award: 36-years old, Rod Brind’Amour – 2006-07 & Rick Meagher – 1989-90

Average age: 28.2-years old

…from NHL Awards Oldest & Youngest

Rod Brind'Amour Carolina Hurricanes
Rod Brind’Amour, Carolina Hurricanes (Courtesy Carolina Hurricanes Media Archives)

Selke Trophy Winners

SeasonWinnerTeamWin #
1977–78Bob GaineyMontreal Canadiens1
1978–79Bob GaineyMontreal Canadiens2
1979–80Bob GaineyMontreal Canadiens3
1980–81Bob GaineyMontreal Canadiens4
1981–82Steve KasperBoston Bruins1
1982–83Bobby ClarkePhiladelphia Flyers1
1983–84Doug JarvisWashington Capitals1
1984–85Craig RamsayBuffalo Sabres1
1985–86Troy MurrayChicago Blackhawks1
1986–87Dave PoulinPhiladelphia Flyers1
1987–88Guy CarbonneauMontreal Canadiens1
1988–89Guy CarbonneauMontreal Canadiens2
1989–90Rick MeagherSt. Louis Blues1
1990–91Dirk GrahamChicago Blackhawks1
1991–92Guy CarbonneauMontreal Canadiens3
1992–93Doug GilmourToronto Maple Leafs1
1993–94Sergei FedorovDetroit Red Wings1
1994–95Ron FrancisPittsburgh Penguins1
1995–96Sergei FedorovDetroit Red Wings2
1996–97Michael PecaBuffalo Sabres1
1997–98Jere LehtinenDallas Stars1
1998–99Jere LehtinenDallas Stars2
1999–2000Steve YzermanDetroit Red Wings1
2000–01John MaddenNew Jersey Devils1
2001–02Michael PecaNew York Islanders2
2002–03Jere LehtinenDallas Stars3
2003–04Kris DraperDetroit Red Wings1
2004–05Season canceled due to the league’s lockout
2005–06Rod Brind’AmourCarolina Hurricanes1
2006–07Rod Brind’AmourCarolina Hurricanes2
2007–08Pavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings1
2008–09Pavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings2
2009–10Pavel DatsyukDetroit Red Wings3
2010–11Ryan KeslerVancouver Canucks1
2011–12Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins1
2012–13Jonathan ToewsChicago Blackhawks1
2013–14Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins2
2014–15Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins3
2015–16Anze KopitarLos Angeles Kings1
2016–17Patrice BergeronBoston Bruins4
2017–18Anze KopitarLos Angeles Kings2
2018–19Ryan O’ReillySt. Louis Blues1
2019–20Sean CouturierPhiladelphia Flyers1
2020–21Aleksander BarkovFlorida Panthers1

Sources