LOS ANGELES—On June 24, the annual NHL Awards will take place where two players from the LA Kings, Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar, are nominated in multiple categories.
The NHL Awards are an annual ceremony that recognizes individual excellence from the previous hockey season. This year, comedian Rob Riggle will host the event, which is being housed at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Defenseman Drew Doughty hopes to be named the James Norris Memorial Trophy winner, as the league’s greatest all-around player in a defensive position. Center Anze Kopitar is up for two awards, including the Frank J. Selke Award, which recognizes the league’s most defensive forward, and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, awarded to the player that best exemplifies sportsmanship and class.
The duo faces formidable competition in each of their respective categories, with Doughty being up against P.K. Subban from the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson. For Kopitar, his fellow Byng nominees are Jiri Hudler of the Calgary Flames and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings while fellow Selke Award nominees are Patrice Bergeron from the Boston Bruins and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, whose team is fresh off a Stanley Cup win.
NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire expressed his favor towards Doughty in particular for getting the Norris Trophy. “I just think Drew Doughty is a phenomenal, phenomenal player. I do think this should be his coronation.”
Both Doughty and Kopitar have previously been nominated for NHL awards, with Doughty being a Norris Trophy candidate for the 09-10 season and Kopitar also being nominated last year for the Selke Award.
The LA Kings failed to make playoffs for the first time since 2009 this past season and were unable to defend their title as Stanley Cup Champions. The team, along with the rest of the league, is bracing for the upcoming 2015 NHL Draft where the Kings have drawn the 13th overall pick. The first round is to be held this Friday in Sunrise, Florida, followed by rounds 2-7 on Saturday.