Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was a unanimous winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable player during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs after a 2-0 win against the Tamp Bay Lightning in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on Monday that gave the Blackhawks their third championship in six seasons.
Keith scored three game-winning goals and recorded 18 assists in 23 games this postseason. He is the ninth defenseman to win the award. He is the first player win the award and score the Stanley Cup-clinching goal since Henrik Zetterberg did so in 2008 with the Detroit Red Wings against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was Keith's 21st point of the playoffs, which tied Chris Chelios for the most points by a Blackhawks defenseman in a postseason. It also tied Chris Pronger for the most points by a defenseman in the past 20 years. Pronger had 21 points in 2006 with the Edmonton Oilers.
Keith averaged 31:06 of ice time per game and became the fourth player in NHL history to log more than 700 minutes in a postseason (715:37).
Keith is just the fourth defenseman to win the award in the last 20 years, joining New Jersey Devils' Scott Stevens (2000), Detroit Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom (2002) and Anaheim Ducks' Scott Niedermayer (2007). He is the first defenseman in Hawks history to win the award, and third player overall, joining Jonathan Toews (2010) and Patrick Kane (2013).
Keith has scored 15 goals and tallied 60 assists in 116 playoff games in his career. He has logged at least two goals in each of the Hawks' championship runs this decade. He logged 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in 2010 and 13 points (two goals and 11 assists) in 2013.
The Conn Smythe will find its way into an already crowded collection of Keith's accolades. Keith has won the Norris Trophy twice and has two Olympic gold medals.
Keith was drafted in the second round, 54th overall, of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by Chicago.