Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar has been playing hockey for centuries. As a pro hockey player, he has accomplished a lot and won several awards, not to mention being one of the best players in his position.
With the direction the Kings are going we have to wonder how long Kopitar has left to play. He is still an offensive producing center and is capable of playing at a high level, however, what does he have left to prove? Kopitar, a 2005 1st round pick at #11, has been consistent of a player as one would want to be. A complete center with an all-around game, he has been one of the best players in Los Angeles King’s history.
The core of Kopitar, Drew Doughty, and Dustin Brown has accomplished a lot since putting on a Kings sweater. They have been through a lot but have also been there for the best times in franchise history.
Kopitar leads by example and is a mentor to the young players coming up through the system. He had led this team in points in just about every season he has played, and in the season he did not lead them in points he was playing outstanding two-way hockey.
Kopitar, who speaks Slovene, Serbian, German, Swedish, and English has quite the hockey resume. If he retired tomorrow he would be a sure-fire Hall of Famer.
Aside from winning two Stanley Cups, his offensive numbers are incredible. Over 16 NHL seasons, he has played 1,206 games, recording 364 goals, and 698 assists for 1,062 points, and has 66 points in 79 playoff games. His career-high in points occurred during the 2017-18 season, as he produced 92 points on 35 goals and 57 assists in 82 games.
While his offensive numbers are hall of fame worthy he does have accolades that will assist him in getting there. Five-time all-star, two-time Stanely Cup champion, two-time Selke trophy, and a 2015-16 Lady Byng winner.
Kopitar likely has plenty of years of competitive, offensive hockey left. He has given so much of the city of Los Angeles and the game of hockey. Fans are wondering what he has left to prove to himself, his teammates, the organization, and the game of hockey. To me, he has proven himself a long time ago and has nothing left to prove. He has done more than enough to solidify himself as one of the game’s greatest two-way players, not only in Los Angeles but in the NHL.
(photo: latimes.com; Jack Harris) (photo: tsn.ca; Frank Seravalli)