Pavel Datsyuk will be looking for a third straight Selke Trophy at the NHL awards in June.
The Detroit Red Wings star was nominated for the league's top defensive forward on Tuesday, joining Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks and Jordan Staal of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Voting was conducted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.
Datsyuk won the Selke the last two seasons and beat out Kesler last year.
The 31-year-old led the NHL in takeaways with 132 - 49 more than second-place Kesler. Datsyuk also finished with a plus-17 rating and had a 55 per cent success rate on faceoffs.
Kesler averaged a career-high 19:37 in ice time for the Canucks and was an integral part of the team's penalty kill. He was also 55 per cent on faceoffs.
The 21-year-old Staal received his first Selke nomination after playing more short-handed minutes than any NHL forward other than Jay McClement of St. Louis. Staal led the Penguins with a plus-19 rating.
The NHL's award show will be held June 23 in Las Vegas. The league is announcing the finalists for each of its trophies over the next week.