Auston Matthews Nominated for Selke Trophy

Matthews has certainly solidified his claim to become a dominant two-way player for the Maple Leafs
Feb 15, 2020; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) steals the puck
Feb 15, 2020; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) steals the puck / Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

For Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, it's must have been a bittsweet day as after being eliminated by the Boston Bruins on Saturday night he was announced as a Selke Award finalist on Sunday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs center has been named a finalist for the 2023-24 Frank J. Selke Trophy, joining Alexander Barkov of the Florida Panthers and Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes.

The award is giving each year to the best NHL forward that excelled in all defensive aspects of the game. Barkov had won the award back in the 2020-21 season, whereas Staal had been a two-time finalist during his 18-year NHL career.

But unlike the other two, Matthews actually has the distinction to become the first player in NHL history to win the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the league in goals and be nominated for the Selke during the same season.

Auston Matthews Nominated for Selke Trophy

For Matthews, this is a first ever nomination, with teammate Mitch Marner finishing third in Selke voting just last season.

Matthews was second in the NHL among forwards in blocked shots with 93 and takeaways with 85. More importantly, he was often seen breaking up plays in the defensive zone and providing key coverage on players to prevent numerous scoring chances.

In addition, Matthews has started to use his weight more as he posted a career-high 89 hits this season to help keep his opponents in check in all zones of the ice.

It is quite the accomplishment for Matthews, considering that he is also currently a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy as well, which is given annually to the NHL player demonstrating the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct in the game while maintaining a high standard of play.

That means he was able to do it all without taking many unnecessary penalities in the process, which definitely requires quite the skill to do so (think Pavel Datsyuk during his prime). (All stats from

Matthews now has the opportunity to become the second Leaf ever to win the trophy, with Doug Gilmour being the first and only Leaf to have done so as he received the honour back in the 1992-93 NHL season.


With his excellence in his play at both ends of the ice, hopefully Matthews can eventually lead the Maple Leafs to a Stanley Cup title in the end.