Toronto Maple Leafs Could Win Multiple NHL Awards in 2023-24

May 12, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) is congratulated by right wing Mitchell Marner (16) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) is congratulated by right wing Mitchell Marner (16) after scoring a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second period of game six of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Toronto Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner vs Cole Caufield Contracts
MONTREAL, CANADA – JANUARY 21: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

No. 3: Mitch Marner: Frank J. Selke Trophy

The Frank J. Selke Trophy goes to the top defensive forward and the player who typically wins this award is Patrice Bergeron.

However, now that Bergeron has retired, Marner could slide in there and win.  It’s entirely possible that he becomes “the new Bergeron.”

Speaking of Marner, he doesn’t get enough credit for the job he does defensively.

He’s not only one of the most dynamic and skillful players in the NHL, but he plays on the Toronto Maple Leafs top penalty-kill unit and is incredibly effective.

More than that though, his 5v5 defense is just as good, and likely even more important than his penalty-killing prowess.

His quick hands and ability to break up a pass not only stops the opponent from scoring, but it can lead to odd-man rushes the other way and multiple scoring chances.

Even when the Leafs are a man-down, they have an opportunity to score, all thanks to Marner.

Marner was nominated for this award last year and finished third in voting, so there’s no reason to believe he won’t be considered again.

The 26-year-old is only getting better and will continue to be on the Leafs PK1 unit, so if he can replicated his 2022-23 season, he should have a strong chance at winning the Selke Trophy this year.