Blues' Ryan O'Reilly Wins 2019 Selke Trophy as NHL's Top Defensive Forward

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

St. Louis Blues' Ryan O'Reilly is seen during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators Friday, Nov. 23, 2018, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

St. Louis Blues center Ryan O'Reilly became a first-time winner of the Selke Trophy, awarded to the forward who made the biggest defensive impact, on Wednesday. 

He beat out Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron and Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone for the award. 

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Selke Trophy winner Ryan O’Reilly led the NHL in face-off wins for the second consecutive season while topping all @StLouisBlues skaters in plus-minus (+22) and ice time per game (20:46). Full Results: https://t.co/Cp3JoZOeVJ #NHLAwards #NHLStats https://t.co/y0lwvzFTod

Winning the Selke Trophy along with the Conn Smythe Trophy puts O'Reilly in exclusive company, per Sportsnet Stats:

Sportsnet Stats @SNstats

#STLBlues Ryan O'Reilly joins Bob Gainey (1978-79) as the only players to win the Selke & Conn Smythe Trophies in the same season https://t.co/WRyJ0c7Jxu

O'Reilly, 28, scored 28 goals and 49 assists in 2018-19, posting a plus-minus of plus-22. 

Sean Leahy of NBC Sports praised O'Reilly's ability to produce on both ends of the ice:

"He was once again strong in the face-off circle with a 56.9 percent success rate, posted a 53.44 Corsi percent, his best since the 2013 NHL season, and had a 2.82 Corsi relative percentage. The Blues had a 93.39 percent on-ice save percentage when O'Reilly was out there at even strength and his 42.53 expected goals against percentage led the team's forwards."

Corsi rating is a measurement of shot attempt differential at even strength.

Bergeron, 33, is a four-time winner of the award, tied for the most in NHL history with Bob Gainey. He was once again superb in the 2018-19 season, registering 32 goals, 47 assists and posting a plus-minus of plus-23. He had a faceoff win percentage of 56.6 percent and a Corsi rating of 56.77 percent.

Stone also put his best foot forward in 2018-19 to put him in contention for his first Selke Award. He scored 33 goals and 40 assists, posting a plus-minus of plus-13. He led the NHL with 122 takeaways and posted a 52.99 percent Corsi rating.

He was attempting to become the rare winger to claim the award, but O'Reilly earned the honor over him.