Slovenia qualifies for Sochi - LA Kings Insider

The Slovenian men’s ice hockey team qualified for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics following a 2-1 upset over host Denmark in Group F Olympic qualifying in Vojens on Friday. On Thursday, Slovenia had upset higher-ranked Belarus, 4-2.

Jesenice native David Rodman, who plays in Germany’s 2nd Bundesliga and spent two years with the QMJHL’s Val-d’Or Foreurs from 2001-03, scored both goals in Slovenia’s historic victory.

“This is a miracle,” said Matjaz Kopitar, Anze Kopitar’s father and the head coach of the Slovenian national team. Slovenia will be placed in Group A in Sochi, where they’ll compete against the host Russia, Slovakia and the United States. Slovenia was ranked 18th in the 2012 Men’s World Rankings. Denmark was ranked 12th; Belarus 13th.

Anze’s brother, Gasper, appeared in both Slovenian wins. When I traveled to Mora, Sweden on assignment with FOX Sports during the lockout, I asked Anze about being on the ice when Gasper, 20, scored his first professional goal. “I think I was probably happier than him,” he said. The two appeared together in a pre-Olympic friendly evaluation tournament in Ljubljana last November, marking Anze’s first appearance with the national team in nearly five years.

No decision has been made on whether NHL players will be released for the 2014 Olympics, though it is a near-certainty that they will. Scott Burnside of has an explanation of the procedural hurdles that remain before the agreement is finalized.

We’ll have comments from Kopitar and his teammates following practice on Saturday. The team was off Friday.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.