Anze Kopitar has been a god for Los Angeles Kings hockey. He has achieved so much in his playing career, but there are things you only conquer once, and Captain Kopitar did that this past week.
The Milestone? 1,000 points.
Kopitar accomplished the feat by assisting on an empty-net goal by defenseman Matt Roy in the closing moments of a King’s victory over the Arizona Coyotes. Drafted by Los Angeles in the 2005 NHL draft (11th overall), Kopitar has been a lock in the Kings organization, rarely missing a game.
As captain, he has played virtually on the top line his entire Kings career. He has shown his versatility by playing on the power-play, penalty kill, and his regular shift.
Being drafted into a team that was not very good, he helped transform this team into a competitor first and Stanley Cup champion second. His work ethic is first class, and as captain, he makes sure everyone is on the same page while being a prolific scorer in the league.
Although he has yet to win a Hart Trophy, he has averaged .88 points per game and 67 points per season. Not only has he produced offensively, but he has also shown he can be just as valuable defensively, winning the Selke Trophy in 2015-15 and again in 2017-18.
As the first Slovenian player to play in the NHL, Kopitar has also led the Kings to 2 Stanley Cups, first in 2011-12 and also in 2013-14. Kopitar has already reserved a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame and, by his play, looks to be playing for several years to come.
He is a professional in every sense of the word and, as captain, truly leads by example.
Featured Image: Bridget Samuels/Talk Hockey