Anze Kopitar is a Slovenian professional ice hockey center and current captain of the Los Angeles Kings. Anze’s father, Matjaž Kopitar, was a hockey player for HK Acroni Jesenice, a Slovenian ice hockey league; Matjaž was a talented player, winning the league title three times, a member of the Yugoslav and Slovenian national teams, and coach of HK Acroni Jesenice and the Slovenian national team. Hoping that his son would, too, develop a passion for the sport, he taught Anze how to skate, at the young age of four, at an ice rink that he built himself in their own backyard. Like his father, Anze Kopitar developed a liking and had a talent for ice hockey.
Anze Kopitar’s beginnings at the youth level showcased him playing for his hometown’s youth team, HK Acroni Jesenice, following in the steps of his father. He immediately presented talent, as he had four goals and four assists in the senior league, and later was the top scorer in the Slovenian Ice Hockey League. The competition in the league soon wasn’t challenging enough for the athlete, so Anze Kopitar moved onto playing in Sweden for Sodertalje SK. He soon led the league in scoring again and the NHL Central Scouting Bureau ranked him as the top European skater. After receiving numerous offers to play in North America, such as the Regina Pats of the WHL, Kopitar focused on playing against professionals in the Elitserien. On September 7, 2005, Anze Kopitar was offered an entry-level contract with the Kings, but returned to play in Sweden for another season. It wasn’t until the next year that he would make his debut with the team against the Anaheim Ducks. In his debut game, Kopitar scored two goals. He immediately was recognized in the NHL, as he was named to the NHL YoungStars Game where he scored two goals and recorded three assists. At the end of his rookie season, Anze Kopitar was ranked third among rookies in terms of scoring, the fifth-highest point total by a Kings rookie, finished fourth in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy for being rookie of the year, was awarded the Mark Bavis Memorial Award as the best first-year member of the Kings, and was also named the Kings’ Most Popular Player. The next season he represented the Western Conference at the 56th NHL All-Star Game, making him the youngest player in the game. At the end of the season, he led the Kings in assists and points, was second in goals, and won the Bill Libby Memorial Award for being the King’s MVP. During the 2008-2009 season, Kopitar signed a seven-year contract with the Kings and once again finished first in both assists and points, and second in goals. He ended the following season with a career high 34 goals and 81 points; he led the team in scoring, won the Bill Libby Memorial Award for being the team’s MVP, his second, and made the Stanley Cup playoffs. Playing in his 325th consecutive league game, Kopitar started the 2010-2011 season started off on a high note, but his streak came to an end at 330 consecutive games due to an ankle injury. Kopitar continued to be the top scorer for the Kings, helping the Los Angeles Kings win the Stanley Cup during the 2011-2012 season, and his performance had Kopitar leading the team in playoff scoring. The Stanley Cup championship win made Kopitar the first Slovenian-born player to win the Cup. He was also named as the 2012 Slovenian male Athlete of the Year. During the 2013-2014 season, he was named the team’s MVP, best defensive player, and was the runner-up for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward in the NHL. He was a finalist for the Selke Trophy again the following year, and was awarded the sportsmanship award called the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy. During the 2015-2016 season, he signed an eight-year contract extension with the Kings, finished the season with 74 points, a team record as he led the franchise in scoring for a ninth consecutive season, was awarded both the Lady Byng and Frank J. Selke Trophies, and won the Bill Libby Memorial Award for being MVP a fifth time. In 2016, he was named as the King’s captain, before losing his nine-year streak of being the team’s top scorer.
Anze Kopitar is one of the league’s best scorers. Growing up in a family that was passionate about ice hockey, Kopitar realized his love for the sport early on. Following in his father’s footsteps, Anze has shown much promise and skill. He is one of the Los Angeles Kings most valuable players and has helped the franchise achieve tremendous recognition. There is no better way to cherish Anze’s career as the team’s leading scorer for nine consecutive years than with the purchase of one of our Anze Kopitar rare collectibles that are guaranteed to be authentic.
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