Barkov, Bergeron, Stone Named Finalists for 2021 Frank J. Selke Trophy

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJune 6, 2021

BOSTON, MA - MAY 29: Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) carries the puck in the neutral zone during Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round between the Boston Bruins and the New York Islanders on May 29, 2021, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.(Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NHL on Sunday announced Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov, Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone were the three finalists for the Frank J. Selke Trophy.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Aleksander Barkov (@FlaPanthers), Patrice Bergeron (@NHLBruins) and Mark Stone (@GoldenKnights) are the three finalists for the 2020-21 Frank J. Selke Trophy.#NHLStats: https://t.co/zqHTUAtlLY pic.twitter.com/nNEtKAH443

The award goes to the top defensive forward in the league.

Bergeron is a perennial contender for the award, winning it four times over his 17-year NHL career to tie Hall of Famer Bob Gainey for the record. This is the 10th straight season he has been among the top three in voting for the prize.

The 35-year-old remains an impact player, finishing with 23 goals and 25 assists in 54 games this season. He also continues to help in other ways, including an NHL-best 714 face-off wins and 62.3 win percentage.

His plus-27 rating led the Bruins and tied for seventh-best in the NHL.

Stone, 29, also rated high in the category, finishing plus-26 on the year for the Golden Knights. He was a key part of a squad that allowed the fewest goals in the league while ranking No. 1 in penalty-kill percentage (86.8 percent).

Barkov has also proved to be an elite defender while also finding a way to avoid penalties. The 2018-19 Lady Byng Trophy winner averaged more than 20 minutes per night for the fourth year in a row yet finished with just 14 penalty minutes in 50 games.

The 25-year-old contributed on both ends for the Florida Panthers, ranking second on the team with 58 points while leading the three Selke finalists in blocks with 37.

The NHL will announce the winners of its awards during the playoff semifinals and Stanley Cup Final.