Detroit center Kris Draper was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy at the NHL Awards Thursday night. The award, given annually to the league’s best defensive forward, is the first individual NHL award Draper has won in his career.
“I’m in some unbelievable company to win the Selke Trophy,” Draper said. “Obviously one of the biggest thrills is knowing that my friend and teammate Steve Yzerman has his name on this trophy, and now we have that in common. It’s definitely special. It’s something that’s going to mean a lot to me.
New Jersey Devil John Madden and San Jose Shark Alyn McCauley were the other finalists for the award. Detroit’s Kirk Maltby, to whom Draper credited much of his success, finished seventh in voting.
“It seems that every time I’m on the ice, he’s on the ice with me,” Draper said of Maltby. “We’ve obviously created a very special relationship on the ice, and I know he was pulling for me. He’s a huge part of this.”
Draper had a career season statistically. He scored 24 goals and 40 points, in addition to having a 56.9 faceoff percentage and a plus-22 plus-minus rating.
He will skate alongside Red Wings teammates Yzerman and Maltby as part of Team Canada at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.