Minnesota Wild: Most Likely Award Candidates

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild is interviewed during media availability for the 2017 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 20, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 20: Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild is interviewed during media availability for the 2017 NHL Awards at Encore Las Vegas on June 20, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 19: Minnesota Wild Center
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 19: Minnesota Wild Center /

Selke Trophy Suits The Minnesota Wild Line-Up

If any of the indiivudal awards match up to the Minnesota Wild’s make-up best, it’s the Selke Trophy.

Between Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu and Nino Neiderreiter; you have three very defensively able forwards.

What do they need to work on to match up with the elite tier in Selke Trophy contention?

When you look at last year’s winner, Anze Kopitar and perennial contender and elite defensive forward, Patrice Bergeron; their face-off winning percentages instantly stand out.

Koivu, despite being in amongst the voting for the Selke last season saw his face-off percentage dip from his previous totals. A 50.6% was way down on his career average of above 53%.

Kopitar and Bergeron differ in terms of their shot blocking; Koivu is more like the Los Angeles center than the Boston player looking at that specific stat-line.

At even-strength, the Minnesota Wild only conceded 43 points whilst Mikko was on the ice. That is elite level; not quite Bergeron’s 32 goals against but it’s certainly not to be shrugged at.

The comparable is there between all three players; they are all able to generate points too, though Kopitar’s lines up better in that respect; the Los Angeles Kings lend to his scoring game whereas Koivu and Bergeron can rely on their teammates to generate more of the offense.

It’s hard, looking at advanced statistics, to derive clear, clear differences between the three contenders, so that in itself makes me think that Koivu can put his name into contention without too many challenges.