He’s been here before, and he’ll probably be here again. Anze Kopitar is your Selke Trophy winner.
Kopitar was a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the fourth time in fifth years, and for the second time in three seasons, he won the dang thing. It wasn’t particularly close, either, as Kopitar received 70 first-place votes. By comparison, the other two finalists, Sean Couturier and Patrice Bergeron, received 71 first-place votes combined.
Selke Trophy voting breakdown (voted on by PHWA) pic.twitter.com/1W8uySWsNX— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) June 21, 2018
Anze Kopitar made most of his headlines this season for his work on offense, as he recorded a career-high 92 points for a team that needed all of them. The Selke traditionally goes to the best two-way forward and not necessarily the best “defensive forward,” and this certainly helped. (After all, Kopitar finished 15th in this race last year.) To complete the profile, Kopitar’s work in the rest of the zones was stellar. No Kings forward played more time on the penalty kill, and no team was better on the penalty kill. He played more often trailing than he did leading, and he played more in the defensive zone than in the offensive zone. He played more than 25 minutes in a game eight separate times, more than anybody else. And, yes, he was a +21.
Kopitar got a Hart nomination for all his work this year, and though he probably won’t win that, it shows just how excellent he was all year. Congrats, Anze.