Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisaitl garnered three votes for the Selke Trophy, enough to land him 13th in voting.
Draisaitl received two second-place votes and one fourth-place vote for the award.
There’s no doubt he worked on his defensive game and saw significant improvements this season. His GA/60 rate fell from 3.2 in 2019-20 down to 2.17 in 2020-21, but he still has a long way to go.
According to models by JFresh Hockey, Draisaitl’s defensive zone contributions are in the lowest percentile in the league. This past year on the ice, the Oilers allowed nine percent more xGA/60 with him on the ice, according to Hockeyviz.com. With him off the ice, the Oilers allowed 11 percent less xGA/60.
Draisaitl did tie for second in the league in the flawed +/- category, and that’s likely a big reason why he got the recognition he did.
He obviously made some strides in his defensive game, as did Connor McDavid (who garnered one fifth-placed vote tying him for 27th), but I’m a little surprised to see him getting Selke votes. Draisaitl got more voting points than Sidney Crosby, and I don’t think he’s even in the same stratosphere as defensive play as Crosby.
Nonetheless, this is the world we live in and there are at least a few voters out there who really liked his defensive work this season.