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Born August 24, 1987 (1987-08-24) (age 22),
Jesenice, Slovenia
Height
Weight
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team Los Angeles Kings
Ntl. team  Slovenia
NHL Draft 11th overall, 2005
Los Angeles Kings
Playing career 2004 – present
Website http://www.anzeseleven.com

Anže Kopitar (born August 24, 1987) is a Slovenian professional ice hockey player and alternate captain of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was the 11th overall draft pick by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Kopitar is the first Slovenian player to appear in the NHL.[1]

Contents

Early life

Kopitar was born in Jesenice, Slovenia, then part of Yugoslavia. His family lived in the village of Hrušica.[citation needed] Kopitar began skating at the age of four and grew up with a backyard hockey rink that his father constructed.[2] His father Matjaž played for Acroni Jesenice in the Yugoslavian League, and competed in three World Championships (in the B and C pools) for Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.[2] He has also coached Slovenian champions Acroni Jesenice of the Austrian Hockey League.[citation needed] Kopitar's brother, Gasper, is also a hockey player.[2]

Playing career

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European career and juniors

Kopitar developed his skills in Slovenia's senior and junior leagues. Leading the Slovenian Hockey League in scoring at the age of 16, Swedish scout Lars Soder recruited Kopitar for the Elitserien in 2004 (Soder had originally discovered Kopitar when he was 13 at a Youth Olympics tournament).[2] Kopitar subsequently moved to Sweden to play for Södertälje. After his first season in Sweden, he was chosen 11th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Upon being drafted, he was invited to the Kings' rookie camp, but chose to remain in Sweden with Södertälje. Kopitar was given another opportunity to play in North America when the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League (WHL) extended him an invitation. He declined, hoping to further his development by continuing to play against professionals in the Elitserien, rather than the juniors in the WHL.[3]

Los Angeles Kings

In 2006, he accepted an invitation to the Los Angeles Kings' rookie camp. Anže Kopitar became the first Slovenian hockey player to play in the NHL when he made his career debut on October 6, 2006 at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks. He scored two goals as the Kings lost 4–3.[4] In his home debut at the Staples Center the following night, he had three assists in a 4-1 Kings victory against the St. Louis Blues.[5] Kopitar completed his first NHL season third among rookies in scoring behind Evgeni Malkin and Paul Stastny.

The following season, Kopitar was selected to represent the Western Conference at the 56th NHL All-Star Game, his first appearance.[6] He improved to 77 points to complete the 2007–08 season, first in team scoring.[7]

On October 11, 2008, Kopitar signed a seven-year, $47.6 million contract extension with the Kings.[8]

Anže notched his first career hat trick on October 22, 2009 against the Dallas Stars at the Staples Center. He helped lead the Kings to a 5–4 overtime win.

He scored his 100th career goal in a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on January 28, 2010.[9]

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 Södertälje SEL 5 0 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0
2005–06 Södertälje SEL 47 8 12 20 28
2006–07 Los Angeles Kings NHL 72 20 41 61 24
2007–08 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 32 45 77 22
2008–09 Los Angeles Kings NHL 82 27 39 66 32
NHL totals 236 79 125 204 78
Elitserien totals 52 8 12 20 28 10 0 0 0 0

References

  1. ^ "Los Angeles Kings- Team: Anze Kopitar Official Player Page". Los Angeles Kings. 2008-11-11. http://kings.nhl.com/team/app?page=PlayerDetail&playerId=8471685&service=page&tab=bio. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d "NHL top scorer not in Vancouver". International Ice Hockey Federation. http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/news/news-singleview/article/nhl-top-scorer-not-in-vancouver.html?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=955&cHash=d4488c5d2a. Retrieved 2009-11-18. 
  3. ^ Arritt, Dan (2008-10-11). "Kings' Anze Kopitar Grew Up Fast". Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-kings11-2008oct11,0,2328440.story. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  4. ^ Matsuda, Gann (2007-10-07). "Rookie Kopitar Shines In Debut, But Can't Do It Alone". Online Kingdom. http://www.kingshockey.com/articles.cfm?id=48. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  5. ^ Matsuda, Gann (2007-10-08). "Kopitar Does It Again". Online Kingdom. http://www.kingshockey.com/articles.cfm?id=49. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  6. ^ Los Angeles Kings (2008-01-10). "Kopitar Named To All-Star Team". Press release. http://kings.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=349402&page=NewsPage&service=page. Retrieved 2008-01-27. 
  7. ^ "2007–08 Los Angeles Kings (NHL)". Hockeydb.com. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000402008.html. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  8. ^ Los Angeles Kings (2008-10-11). "Kopitar Signed For Seven Years". Press release. http://kings.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=386095&page=NewsPage&service=page. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
  9. ^ http://cbs2.com/sports/los.angeles.101.2.1456623.html

External links


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