Wednesday, April 17, 2019 | 3:40 p.m.
What’s been known for a while was made official this afternoon: Mark Stone plays terrific defense.
The Golden Knights forward was named a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, the award honoring “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.”
Boston's Patrice Bergeron and St. Louis' Ryan O'Reilly are the other finalists. The Selke will be presented at the NHL Awards on June 19 at Mandalay Bay Events Center. The award is chosen by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
“He’s a two-way player that does everything real good for you,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “The reason we got him and paid him so much money is because he’s a superstar.”
A winger has not taken home the Selke since Jere Lehtinen in 2003.
Stone has as good of a case as anyone. He led the league in takeaways with 122, and the second-place finisher was Florida’s Aleksander Barkov with 100. When Stone was with the Senators, his relative Corsi was an absurd 11.3, meaning Ottawa generated about 11 more shot attempts per 60 minutes at 5-on-5 when Stone was on the ice as opposed to when he wasn’t.
Even when he joined the Golden Knights, a superior possession team, he still posted a 56.6 % Corsi, showing his numbers with the Senators weren’t a fluke.
"I think that's something that impressed a lot of us when he got here," defenseman Colin Miller said. “That’s the stuff you don’t really see is the defensive side, but you do when he’s on your team. It becomes pretty evident."
Defenseman Deryk Engelland was also named the Golden Knights’ nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is given to the “player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."
In September, the defenseman launched “Engo’s Heores” to help reward members of the community throughout the season and bring them to games. He also worked with Three Square to help kids, and worked with firefighters to raise money to help kids play hockey.
The three finalists will be named on Tuesday, with the winner receiving the honor at the awards show in June.
“You always see him out with the kids and in the community,” forward Ryan Reaves said. “Well-deserved for him for sure.”
The Golden Knights brought home plenty of hardware last season, as four members of the team earned awards. William Karlsson won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy as the league’s most gentlemanly player, Deryk Engelland won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, Gerard Gallant won the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, and George McPhee won General Manager of the Year.