The Selke Trophy, awarded annually to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game, is generally the province of centers.
"I still believe Palat is the straw that stirs the drink on that line," Cooper said. "He's oozing with hockey sense and he's skilled. He is like Patrice Bergeron as a winger to me."
Opposite Palat in the Stanley Cup Final is Marian Hossa, another defensively skilled forward whom the Selke has eluded.
Each of these players, though, is key in their team's defensive schemes, and each will be relied upon in that capacity for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Saturday (7:15 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports) as the Tampa Bay Lightning look to even up the series with the Chicago Blackhawks.