Nick Suzuki
Photo credit: Sportsnet

A harsh slap in the face for Nick Suzuki

Published May 5, 2024 at 3:01 PM

Nick Suzuki had the best season of his career despite the Canadiens' lack of success during the season.

He was dominant in terms of points, but also in defending against the best opponents night after night.

That's where the slap in the face comes in, as he was not considered among the three finalists for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward in the League.

Even though he had a -14 rating, one could understand given that he played for a bottom-ranking team, which explains it somewhat.

The rest of his statistics are comparable to those of Patrice Bergeron in terms of points and minutes played against the best opposing players.

The shock was felt when the list of three finalists was released: Aleksander Barkov, Auston Matthews, and Jordan Staal.

While the Selke Trophy is awarded to the best defensive forward, winners also accumulate a certain amount of points. Jordan Staal is very good defensively, but he plays for an excellent team, collected only 44 points, and finished the season with a -14 rating.

Auston Matthews also poses a problem here.

"Are you telling me that if there's a critical defensive situation, Auston Matthews is one of the 3 forwards you send out on the ice among all forwards in the NHL? Come on!" - Etienne Ferland

This statement is very strong. The goal is not to criticize the NHL or to say that Nick Suzuki absolutely deserved to be among the three finalists, but to see players like Staal and Matthews named ahead of him is quite peculiar.

Staal played less than 15 minutes on average per game, mainly against 2nd and 3rd line players. Suzuki played over 22 minutes on average per game, almost always against the best opposing players, and had an even rating, in addition to collecting 30 more points and playing for a much less solid team. Find the error...

May 5   |   331 answers
A harsh slap in the face for Nick Suzuki

In your opinion, did Nick Suzuki deserve to be nominated for the Selke Trophy?

Yes28686.4 %
No4513.6 %
Latest 10 stories