On Thursday, Kings forward Anze Kopitar
was named one of the three finalists for the NHL’s 2015-’16 Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is awarded annually to “the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game.”
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler were also announced as finalists for the honor.
This marks the third consecutive year that Kopitar has been named a finalist, he has finished as the runner-up for the award the previous two years. Of his two contenders for the trophy this season, Bergeron has won it three times (2012, 2014, 2015) and Kesler once (2011). Kopitar has never won the trophy.
Kopitar’s 1,690:12 minutes played this season led all forwards in the NHL, he averaged 20:52 minutes per game, including 2:09 on the penalty kill. Kopitar finished the season third in the league in shot differential, the Kings had 332 more shot attempts than their opponents while he was on the ice.
Kopitar’s +34 rating was second-best in the league, his 53.5% faceoff win percentage was the best of his NHL career. Kopitar also registered 78 hits, 65 blocked shots, and 43 takeaways in his 81 games played.
“Kopitar, a Selke finalist for the third straight season, was the runner-up in each of the past two seasons. He led all forwards in total ice time (1,690:12) and averaged 20:52 per game, including 2:09 shorthanded. Kopitar was fifth in faceoffs taken (1,776) and seventh in faceoff wins (950), and won 53.5 percent. Kopitar was third in the League among forwards in shot attempts differential; the Kings had 332 more shot attempts than they allowed when he was on the ice. He also ranked second in the League in plus/minus (plus-34), and had 25 goals and 49 assists in 81 games.” From LAKingsInsider.com: