The Selke goes out to the top defensive forward in the NHL. Usually this also carries with it the burden of being somewhat of an offensive player as well. Last year’s winner was Brandon Dubinsky with others up and down the line up receiving votes. Can 17 repeat? Read on to see who this year’s Union Blue Selke winner is…
TheCoachUB: (1) Tough zone starts, tough matchups, awesome on the faceoff, physical presence, blocked shots, penalty killing ace. What more do you want from a Selke nominee? How about 50 points on top of that? Dubinsky shouldn’t just be the Jackets Selke winner, he should be getting buzz as an ACTUAL Selke nominee. Just look at the chart below. There are four Jackets forwards playing tough minutes against tough competition (the top left corner). Red is bad (aka Umberger) while the darker the blue, the better. Dubi is good.
AlisonL: (1) I wish I could just insert the 360+ minutes of the series versus the Penguins to explain why I picked Dubinsky for this honor. He had the highest faceoff win percentage, corsi for and fenwick for of the entire team while being matched almost exclusively against the best player in the world. He also still managed to be second on the team in points in the playoffs with 6 (tied with Ryan Johansen by the way). And then in the regular season, he was third in points and managed to keep that electric passion under control night after night to frustrate opponents without crossing the line.
DerDrache: (2) Coaches love a player that they can trust to put out on the ice against any kind of lineup. Look no further than Dubinsky in the playoff series against against the Penguins where he drafted the blue print on how to shut down the league’s most elite forward.
DerDrache: (1) OK, this may not be a traditional Selke analysis but what puts Jenner over the top for 1st choice for me in concert with his absolutely solid defensive play as a forward is his consistent ability to draw penalties. The best defense is to be able to play on the offensive with a man advantage.
AlisonL: (3) One of the two man child rookies on the Jackets, Jenner showed a maturity beyond his years particularly when it comes to challenging the opponent. I loved to see how he played against seasoned guys who would try to push him around and he stood up to it and ultimately ended up inciting a lot more drama from opponents than causing it on our bench – and ultimately that helped a lot. More composure like that – paired with his physical game – means bright things on the horizon for 38.
TheCoachUB: (2) Anisimov is like Dubinsky light. He’s just a liiiiiitle behind Dubi in every measure. Tougher zone starts, but not quite as tough opponents, not quite as much success, not as good on the draw, not as physical, blocks a little more shots, good on the pk. And he scored 22 goals as well. Dubinsky and Anisimov are major factors in allowing the rest of the team to be successful.
DerDrache (3) The one thing you can count on when Derek MacKenzie is on the ice is energy and an aggressive forecheck that consistently disrupts the other team’s breakout. This disruption is great for creating turnovers that lead to scoring chances or offensive zone face-offs for the top line.
TheCoachUB: (3) Look at the chart by Dubinsky. Johansen is the third forward facing tough matchups who was also successful at it. Johansen is good on draws (better than Arty, below Dubi), tied Dubi in blocked shots, and was above Arty in hits. Lack of penalty killing time is the only thing holding Joey back.