LA Kings center Anze Kopitar has been nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, the National Hockey League announced Thursday.
The Selke Trophy is an annual award given to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game. The winner is selected in a poll of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association at the end of the regular season.
Kopitar won the Selke Trophy in 2016. He is the only Kings player to win the award in franchise history.
The trophy was first awarded at the end of the 1977-78 NHL season. It was named after Frank J. Selke, former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Sean Couturier of the Philadelphia Flyers are the other finalists for the 2017-18 Selke Trophy.
The 2018 NHL Awards will be held on Wednesday, June 20, at The Joint, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s state-of-the-art concert and entertainment venue. NBCSN will broadcast the event live at 5 p.m.
This is the fourth time in the past five seasons that Kopitar has been nominated for the Selke Trophy. This season, he played the most minutes (1,810:58) of all forwards in the NHL, averaging 22:05 per game. On the penalty kill, he played the most minutes of any Kings forward (2:10 per game) on the top PK unit in the NHL (85.0%).
Kopitar took 37 percent of his team’s faceoffs, the third-best mark in the league, and led his team with a 54.1 percent faceoff win rate, which was also the best mark of his career.
Kopitar’s 2017-18 Season Highlights:
Set career-highs in goals (35), assists (57) and points (92)
Led the team in points for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons
Led all NHL forwards in time on ice per game (22:05)
Became the first Kings player to surpass the 90-point plateau since Wayne Gretzky (1993-94)
Recorded a career-high 24 multipoint games
Registered a career-high four goals (which tied a franchise record for most goals in a game) on March 22 against the Colorado Avalanche
Was the first Kings player to finish the season in the top-10 in NHL scoring since Ziggy Palffy (2002-03)
Registered a career-high 10 game point streak (12 points) from Oct. 26-Nov. 16
Registered his 500th career assist on Dec. 5 versus the Minnesota Wild
Surpassed Marcel Dionne (921 points) for fourth on the Kings all-time games played list; Butch Goring (275 goals) for fifth on the Kings all-time goals list; and Bernie Nicholls (758 points) for fifth on the Kings all-time points list
Registered his 800th career point (the fourth Kings player to reach 800 points with the franchise) in his 900th game on Feb. 20 on the road against the Winnipeg Jets
Won the Bill Libby Memorial Award (for the sixth time) as the club’s Most Valuable Player and was named the club’s Defensive Player of the Year Award (fifth time, tying Mattias Norstrom for most wins all-time) as voted by the local media
In the playoffs, he scored his 21st career playoff goal (in Game 3) to surpass Dionne for sixth on the Kings all-time playoff goals list
Picked up his 45th career postseason assist, third most all-time among Kings players