You will find very few forwards that bring the all-around game to the table that Kopitar does. He’s an outstanding two-way forward, and actually has been for a couple of years. This season may be when he finally gets some recognition for it, as he should be a candidate to take home the Selke Trophy.
Kopitar’s offensive game is no secret. He’s in a bit of a goal drought, but still has 34 points in 37 games this season. That’s the best on the team. Even if the Kings don’t boast the most efficient blue line in the league, he’s still performing with the man advantage, with 12 points so far on the season.
Where Kopitar’s game is very underrated is in the defensive end. He’s fantastic in his own zone and at the faceoff circle. He boasts a 53 percent win rate at the dot. His Corsi is third on the team, currently sitting well over plus-19. Add that to a plus-16 for his plus/minus, which is among the best in the entire league and you have a guy who is absolutely the total package.
Despite performing like this for the past few seasons, Kopitar hasn’t gotten the attention that other forwards of his caliber have. That could change this year, once award season rolls around. Kopitar is obviously a candidate for the Norris Trophy. Could he make the trip to potentially accept some hardware this year?
It’s certainly a possibility. And he’s obviously quite deserving of a little bit of validation as one of the game’s best.