Anže Kopitar


Anže Kopitar

Infobox Ice Hockey Player
team = Los Angeles Kings
league = NHL


image_size = 250px
position = Centre
shoots = Left
height_ft = 6
height_in = 4
weight_lb = 220
nickname = Kopi
nationality = Slovenia
birth_date = Birth date and age|1987|8|24|mf=y
birth_place = Jesenice, Yugoslavia
draft = 11th overall
draft_year = 2005
draft_team = Los Angeles Kings
career_start = 2004

Anže Kopitar (born August 24 1987) is a Slovenian professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. 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.Cite web|url=http://www.nhl.com/nhl/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=290445|title=When it comes to hockey, it's a small world|accessdate=2007-04-15|publisher=NHL.com|year=2007|author=Grossman, Evan]

Playing career

Early career

Kopitar developed his skills in Slovenia's senior and junior leagues. In 2004, at 16-years-old, he moved to Sweden to play for Södertälje SK of the Elitserien. 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 SK. Kopitar was given another opportunity to play in North America when the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League extended him an invitation. He declined, hoping to further his development by continuing to play against professionals in the Elitserien than juniors in the WHL. [citeweb|title=Kings' Anze Kopitar grew up fast|url=http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-kings11-2008oct11,0,2328440.story|accessdate=2008-10-11|publisher=Los Angeles Times]

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 6 October 2006 at the Honda Center against the Anaheim Ducks. He scored two goals as the Kings lost 4-3.cite news | last = Matsuda | first = Gann | title = Rookie Kopitar Shines In Debut, But Can't Do It Alone | publisher = [http://www.kingshockey.com Online Kingdom] | date = 2007-10-07 | url = http://www.kingshockey.com/articles.cfm?id=48 | accessdate = 2007-10-27] 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.cite news | last = Matsuda | first = Gann | title = Kopitar Does It Again | publisher = [http://www.kingshockey.com Online Kingdom] | date = 2007-10-08 | url = http://www.kingshockey.com/articles.cfm?id=49 | accessdate = 2007-10-27] 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.cite press release | publisher = Los Angeles Kings Communications Department | title = Kopitar Named To All-Star Team | url = http://kings.nhl.com/team/app?articleid=349402&page=NewsPage&service=page | date = 2008-01-10 | accessdate = 2008-01-27] He improved to 77 points to complete the 2007–08 season, first in team scoring. [citeweb|title=2007–08 Los Angeles Kings (NHL)|url=http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/leagues/seasons/teams/0000402008.html|accessdate=2008-10-11|publisher=Hockeydb.com]

On October 11, 2008, Kopitar signed a seven-year, $47.6 million contract extension with the Kings.cite news | title = Kings sign Kopitar to seven-year extension | publisher = TSN | date = 2008-10-11 | url = http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=252315 | accessdate = 2008-10-11]

Personal life

Kopitar was born in Jesenice which was within Yugoslavia at the time of his birth. His family lived in Hrušica at that time. His father Matjaž is a retired hockey player and coached Slovenian champions Acroni Jesenice of the Austrian Hockey League, while his younger brother Gašper Kopitar currently plays for the LA Junior Kings Midget AAA 16U Team.cite web | title = Welcome to the LAJK MIDGET AAA 16U Team | url = http://www.lajrkings.com/TeamMain.php?selTeam=MD16AAA | author = Los Angeles Junior Kings | publisher = Los Angeles Junior Kings | accessdate = 2008-01-05] Kopitar's family moved to California once he began playing for the Los Angeles Kings. The originally lived in Hermosa Beach and have since relocated to Manhattan Beach.Fact|date=October 2008

Career statistics

References

External links

*hockeydb|83457
*eurohockey|63532
*nhlprofile|8471685


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