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Auston Matthews has been nominated for the Selke Trophy

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Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
1 month ago
Talk about convenient timing.
No less than 12 hours after the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs in an all-too-familiar Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins, it was announced that Auston Matthews was nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s best defensive forward. He was nominated along with Florida Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal.
Regardless of the lack of appetite fans will have to hear about any Leafs player being nominated for an individual award right now, Matthews did have an excellent season defensively and deserves the honour. He finished second in the NHL in takeaways with 85, only five back of Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin in that regard, and led all Leafs forwards in blocked shots with 93, finishing second in the NHL among forwards in that category behind only Pittsburgh Penguins forward Ryan Poehling. It’s the sixth time he has received votes for the Selke, but the first time he’s actually been nominated for the award. Teammate Mitch Marner was nominated for the award last season and finished third overall in voting while Matthews finished 14th.
It’s the third award Matthews is up for this season, securing the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy by leading the league in goals with 69, and also receiving a nomination for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded to the player who demonstrates the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.
Matthews assisted on William Nylander’s ice-breaking goal against the Bruins in Game 7 after missing Games 5 and 6 due to an undisclosed injury along with a mystery illness that pulled him from Game 4. He made an impact in the Games he did play in, scoring the game-winning goal in Game 2 and finishing the series with four points in five games, but it wasn’t enough for the Leafs to defeat their longest playoff demons.

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