The three nominees for the Selke are:
#13 / Center / Detroit Red Wings
Jul 20, 1978
|2008 - Pavel Datsyuk||32||65||97||34||22|
Pavel Datsyuk has been here before, he is the defending Selke holder. One of the major criteria for the Selke trophy is what a player's plus/minus looks like. Only bested by David Krejci and Blake Wheeler in plus/minus, Datsyuk's 97 points solidfies that he can play both ends of the ice. Datsyuk's adjusted plus/minus of +2.14 ranks second in the league for players that have played at least 50 games.
#17 / Center / Vancouver Canucks
Aug 31, 1984
|2008 - Ryan Kesler||26||33||59||8||61|
Ryan Kesler has weak statistics compared to the other nominees. He has only scored 59 points on the season and was only a +8 on the season. In fact, Kesler's adjusted plus/minus is a -.18 and is fourth on the Canucks with a 2.35 Goals against while on the ice. What Kesler brings to the table is a faceoff percentage of 54% and a physical presence on the ice.
#18 / Center / Philadelphia Flyers
Feb 11, 1985
|2008 - Mike Richards||30||50||80||22||63|
Mike Richards was an important piece to where the Flyers got this season. While his +22 and 80 points are not as impressive as Datsyuk's, what earned Richards this nomination was his play on the penalty kill. Richards' league leading 7 short handed goals this season shows a good amount of defensive and offensive prowess.
After looking at the NHL nominees for the Selke, here's our choice for the Sabres Selke.
The Selke is a hard trophy to award because it measures more than just the statistics that we see at hand. Paul Gaustad seems to be the one player that makes the most sense to get this award. Gaustad is a great two-way player for the Sabres and had a fairly respectable +4 compared to his teammates. He also produced on the offensive side, accounting for 29 points in 62 games.
This was a tough choice as far as the Buffalo Sabres are concerned. The past couple of seasons seemed to establish himself as a solid two-way player but he fell off a bit this season. By default my choice is Paul Gaustad. Gaustad seems to be dependable in his own zone but like many of the current Sabres he seems to have breakdowns. Gaustad is still a young player and could possibly develop into a Chris Drury type player with less offensive talent.