Here is the journey that led the Los Angeles Kings alternate captain Anze Kopitar, to his second Stanley Cup.
Known as one of the best all around players in the NHL, 27-year old Kopitar was born in Jesenice, Slovenia.
From 2002-2008 he played for Slovenia and Sweden. He played for his hometown, where his father also coached him and he moved to Sweden to play when he was 16.
In 2005 he was the Kings 11th overall first round draft pick. His first season playing for the Kings was in 2006-07. Prior to being drafted his skills and top records led him to be a top ranked European skater in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.
Kopitar quickly became a rising star for the Kings, and still doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserves from the NHL.
In 604 NHL games he has 202 goals and 344 assists, a plus-47 rating, 174 penalty minutes, and 27 game winning goals. In 70 playoff contests, he recorded 18 goals and 42 assists, a plus 22 rating, 37 penalty minutes, and four game winning goals.
He won the Bill Libby memorial Award in 2088, 2010 and 2011. He won the Leading Scorer Award in 2008-2013 and the MarK Bavis Memorial Award in 2007. In 2007 and 2011 he won Most Popular Player and in 2011 and 2013 he won for Best Defensive Player.
In March of2011 after passing Marcel Dionne for most consecutive games played in the NHL for the Kings, he got injured with a broken ankle and couldn’t continue the rest of the season.
When he returned in 2011-12 season he was the Kings leading goal scorer as he helped the team reach the franchise’s first ever Stanley Cup.
The following year due to the NHL lockout he played with his brother Gasper Kopitar in Sweden.
In the 2013-14 season he participated in the Winter Olympics, as part of team Slovenia, who made their Olympic debut in men’s hockey, with Kopitar’s father as their coach.
Later that season he led the Kings in scoring goals again and helped the team reach their second Stanely Cup in three seasons.
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