Kopitar earned the second Selke trophy of his NHL career for the 2017-18 season, awarded to the best defensive forward, Curtis Zupke of the Los Angeles Times reports. While the winner of this category doesn't necessarily require a big offensive output, past winners have generally provided a fair amount. Kopitar first took home the honor two seasons ago, when he totaled 74 points and a plus-34 rating. While his rating wasn't quite as good (plus-21) this time around, the veteran notched a career-best 92 points -- 35 goals and 57 assists -- en route to the award. Kopitar remains under wraps in Los Angeles through the 2023-24 campaign and should be in a good position to challenge for the award again next season.
Kopitar was named as a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy on Friday, NHL.com reports. Kopitar's 35 goals and 92 points from 2017-18 were both career highs, and he also fired 200 shots on goal and finished with a plus-21 rating. Furthermore, the 30-year-old supplemented his monstrous offensive production by posting a Corsi For of 53.1 percent to highlight his terrific possession capabilities. Kopitar's power-play presence solidified his spot in this race, as he notched seven goals and 20 helpers with the man advantage. The other two finalists are Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon and New Jersey's Taylor Hall.
Kopitar notched a goal and an assist Sunday in a Game 3 loss to the Golden Knights. Kopitar contributed the primary apple on Alex Iafallo's goal to open the scoring and then lit the lamp for the first time in these playoffs with 2:04 left in the contest. Kings coach Jon Stevens commended the captain for his strong play in the post-game presser after Kopitar was held pointless coming in, but it won't matter all that much from a fantasy standpoint unless his team can find a way to overcome a 3-0 series deficit starting Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Kopitar notched his 55th assist and 90th point of the season, but it came in a losing effort as his side fell 2-1 in overtime to the Ducks on Friday. Kopitar's assist helped him break through the barrier, as he's earned 90 points for the first time in his career. With three games left, the century mark is probably out of the question, but he's scored in four of his past five games, so more good things could be coming for your fantasy side.
Kopitar scored a goal in the second period and assisted in the third, helping the Kings earn a 3-0 win over Calgary on Monday. Making matters better was that both points came on the power play, and in fact, every point Los Angeles scored came with the man advantage. That's a great night for Kopitar and for your fantasy prospects, as he closes in on 90 points for the first time in his career.
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