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NHL Awards staff picks: Lady Byng Trophy

Seven of eight choose Kopitar to win award given for sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct @NHLdotcom

The 2016 NHL Awards will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas on June 22, and staff members will be providing their selections for the winners.

The Lady Byng Trophy is awarded "to the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability." The finalists for the 2015-16 season are forwards Loui Eriksson of the Boston Bruins, Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers and Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings.

Here are's staff picks for the Lady Byng Trophy:

Amalie Benjamin, Staff Writer

Anze Kopitar: Any of the three finalists would be deserving, but the trophy goes to Kopitar, who came in third last season.

Brian Compton, Deputy Managing Editor

Aleksander Barkov: Barkov not only continued to emerge into an elite player, he showed an ability to play a disciplined game. The 20-year-old had 59 points in 66 games and eight penalty minutes despite averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time.

Nicholas J. Cotsonika, Columnist

Anze Kopitar: It's hard to rank 12th in scoring and be a finalist for best defensive forward (Selke Trophy) while taking 16 minutes in penalties.

Tom Gulitti, Staff Writer

Anze Kopitar: Kopitar, who finished third in Lady Byng voting last year, led the Kings with 74 points (25 goals, 49 assists) and had 16 penalty minutes while averaging 20:52 of ice time per game.

Adam Kimelman, Deputy Managing Editor

Anze Kopitar: He had 16 penalty minutes in 81 games, averaging 20:52 of ice time per game. In the Kings' final 21 regular-season games, he was assessed one minor penalty.

Mike G. Morreale, Staff Writer

Anze Kopitar: Kopitar had 74 points, was second in the League with a plus-34 rating, averaged 20:52 of ice time as the best defensive forward for the Kings, and had 16 penalty minutes.

Shawn P. Roarke, Director of Editorial

Anze Kopitar: There might not be a more respected opponent in the League than Kopitar, who is highly regarded for his skills, his work ethic and how he plays the game. Despite being an elite shutdown center, Kopitar rarely gets into penalty trouble.

Dan Rosen, Senior Writer

Anze Kopitar: Among the three finalists, Kopitar had the most points (74), the best plus-minus rating (plus-34), the best shot attempts percentage (57.50) and the highest average ice time per game (20:52). He had 16 penalty minutes on eight minors and led NHL forwards in ice time (1,690:12).

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