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NHL Awards

Frank J. Selke Trophy

Kopitar of Kings wins Selke Trophy as top defensive forward in NHL

Led position in total ice time, finished third in face-off wins to claim award for second time

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Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings won the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward in the NHL at the 2018 NHL Awards Presented by Hulu at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old center led NHL forwards in total ice time (1,810:58) and average ice time (22:05) per game to help the Kings lead the League in defense (2.46 goals against per game) and penalty-killing percentage (85.0 percent). He led Kings forwards in shorthanded ice time (2:10 per game) and was third in the NHL in total face-offs (1,816) and face-off wins (983), setting NHL career highs in each category.

 

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It is the second Selke Trophy for Kopitar, who won it in 2016, finished second in 2014 and was third in 2015. Kopitar was also a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL most valuable player.

"I've always prided myself to be a complete player, being good on the defensive side of things," Kopitar said. "It's definitely a big part of being a 200-foot player. Being recognized as a good defensive forward, it's a great honor too."

Kopitar took 37 percent of the Kings' face-offs, the third-highest percentage in the NHL, and his face-off win percentage of 54.1 percent led Los Angeles, setting an NHL career best. He set NHL career highs in goals (35), assists (57) and points (92), leading the Kings in scoring for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

Video: Anze Kopitar presented with Selke Trophy

The other finalists were Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron and Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier. Bergeron, 32, was a finalist for the seventh straight year and finished sixth in face-off percentage (57.3 percent, minimum 750 attempts).

"I thanked him after, for letting me win one, once in a while," Kopitar said of Bergeron.

Couturier, 25, was tied for third in the NHL with a plus-34 rating and was second among forwards in total ice time (1,770:31).

Here is the voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association:

Pts. (1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th)

1. Anze Kopitar, LAK 1152 (70-37-28-16-5)
2. Sean Couturier, PHI 976 (37-47-37-29-5)
3. Patrice Bergeron, BOS 817 (34-27-40-21-25)
4. Aleksander Barkov, FLA 619 (11-34-28-34-29)
5. Mikko Koivu, MIN 224 (3-6-7-26-39)
6. William Karlsson, VGK 213 (6-5-11-15-18)
7. Radek Faksa, DAL 90 (2-4-5-3-8)
8. Brayden Point, TBL 27 (0-0-2-3-8)
9. Sidney Crosby, PIT 26 (0-0-1-5-6)
10. Brad Marchand, BOS 25 (0-2-1-1-3)

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