This June, the NHL will present the Frank J. Selke Trophy to the forward who best excelled in the defensive aspects of the game in 2015-16.
The winner of the award is determined at the end of the regular season through voting by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, who will each rank their top five candidates. Each vote earns a player a certain number of points, the top three vote-getters are announced as finalists and the winner will be called to the stage to accept the hardware at the annual summer awards ceremony.
The fraternity of Selke finalists has become quite an exclusive group. Over the last several seasons, we've started to hear many of the same names announced for top honours in this category year after year.
This season, those top candidates are all in the mix again, but some interesting challengers and up-and-comers are making cases for their inclusion in the voting.
Not on the list—Nicklas Backstrom. He's having another tremendous season with the Washington Capitals but manages to stay so low-profile that, once again, he'll probably fly under the radar with the voters.
With less than three weeks to play in the 2015-16 campaign, here's how the candidates are lining up for Selke consideration this year.