Anze Kopitar was nominated for his second 2016 NHL award on Saturday. He is also up for the Selke Trophy for the top defensive forward.
Anze Kopitar was nominated for his second 2016 NHL award on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Kings center was named one of the three finalists for the league’s Lady Byng Trophy, given to the “player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.” Kopitar is also up for the Selke Trophy for the top defensive forward.
Joining Kopitar among the final three are Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov and Boston Bruins left winger Loui Eriksson.
Kopitar was also a finalist last season for the Lady Byng, which was won by Jiri Hudler, then of the Calgary Flames. The 28-year-old appeared in 81 games and averaged 20:52 of ice time – third most among forwards. He led the Kings with 74 points. Kopitar is looking to become the first King to win the award since Wayne Gretzky in 1994.
Barkov recorded eight penalty minutes in 66 games. The third-year player posted career highs with 28 goals, 31 assists and 59 points and skated 19:25 per game. The last Panther to win the award was defenseman Brian Campbell in 2012.
Eriksson, a finalist for the award in 2011, played in all 82 games and had just 12 penalty minutes. An impending unrestricted free agent, Eriksson had 30 goals and 63 points, while averaging 19:28. The last Bruin to claim the award was Rick Middleton in 1982.
The Lady Byng will be handed out June 22 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas.