Former Buckeye men’s hockey player Ryan Kesler (2003), now a member of the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, is one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy, given to the league’s top defensive forward each year. Joining Kesler as finalists are Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings, a previous winner, and the Philadelphia Flyers’ Mike Richards.

The 2009 NHL Awards will be held June 18 at the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas. It will be televised live on VERSUS in the United States and CBC in Canada. Tickets to the 2009 NHL Awards are on sale at and at the Pearl Concert Theater Box Office.

Kesler, an alternate captain for the Canucks, had 26 goals, 33 assists and 59 points during the regular season. He was +8 and scored two shorthanded goals, winning 54 percent of his faceoffs. He ranked seventh among NHL forwards with 70 blocked shots and tied for seventh with 74 takeaways. Kesler and the Canucks swept the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and will take on the Chicago Blackhawks in the second round. He played in all four playoff games, with one assist.