Player evaluation: Kopitar - LA Kings Insider

This season: 47 games, 10 goals, 32 assists, 42 points, 16 penalty minutes, plus-14 rating

The good: Anze Kopitar led the Kings in scoring for the sixth consecutive season and led all forwards in time on ice with 20:28 per game. With 32 assists in 47 games, he was on pace for 56 assists over 82 games, which would have represented a career high. He received four first place votes and ranked fourth overall in Selke Trophy voting, though there was a large drop off from third place Pavel Datsyuk. His reach and stick checking remained at an elite level, as did many facets of his 200-foot game. Kopitar won 53.3% of regular season and 51.9% of postseason faceoffs and remained among the sturdiest puck protectors in the league.

Said Darryl Sutter on March 18:

He’s the best all-around centerman that I’ve coached, period. Period. Faceoffs, last minute, first minute, penalty killer. Plays against everybody’s top player, whether it’s a defenseman, a center, a checking role or an offensive role. He plays 20-plus minutes. Doesn’t take penalties. It’s the whole deal. He can play it whatever way we want. Do you want to come and get me? Come and get me…He can play it any way we want. And you know what? The best thing about Kopitar is he’s getting better. And when they do the comparisons with guys that are like that, there’s only a handful of them.

He can also weather a hit to create a scoring opportunity:

-courtesy KingsVision

The bad: Given Sutter’s evaluation, the expectations placed upon the team’s most skilled offensive player, and the point-per-game production experienced during the 2012 postseason, Kopitar’s late season drop off is among the team’s larger disappointments in 2012-13. After being held scoreless over the season’s final 16 games, he scored once in the St. Louis series, once against San Jose and once against Chicago. As Kopitar’s offensive production declined, so did that of the team. The Kings ranked seventh in the league, averaging 2.88 goals per game, following a 5-4 win at Chicago on March 25 in which Kopitar scored his 10th and final goal of the regular season. After that win, Los Angeles recorded 2.38 goals per game over the final 16 games of the regular season and averaged 2.06 goals per game in the playoffs. This isn’t to pin the team’s late season offensive funk on one player; the Kings were beaten up late in the season, and linemate/18-goal scorer Dustin Brown suffered a knee injury against San Jose that compounded the scoring woes. Kopitar’s 98 shots on goal translates to 171 shots over an 82-game season, which would have been 22 shots below his previous career low. He suffered a sprained knee shortly before the end of the NHL lockout while playing in Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan and spent the season in a knee brace that did not limit him or cause much discomfort.

Going forward: Other than his broken ankle in 2011 and the occasional scoring drought, Kopitar hadn’t faced much adversity in his stellar career prior to the second half of the 2012-13 season, and it will be interesting to see how the gifted forward responds following his second-half dropoff. Considering he has won a Stanley Cup, will turn 26 in a month and has posted 476 points through his first 522 NHL games, there’s really not much concern over any wilt in his career arc. A new wrinkle (and additional travel, wear and tear) will be added to the 2013-14 season as Kopitar will represent Slovenia at the Olympics as the first-time hockey qualifiers will join Russia, Slovakia and the United States in Group A. With preseason, regular season, Olympics and the playoffs combined, Kopitar is likely to play above 90 games should he remain healthy. An alternate captain and tenured member of the team’s established core, the upcoming challenge will be in trying to prove that last season’s goal scoring funk was only a hiccup in the evolution of a career of one of the NHL’s supreme two-way centers.

2012 Kopitar evaluation
2011 Kopitar evaluation
2010 Kopitar evaluation
2009 Kopitar evaluation
2008 Kopitar evaluation

2013 Player Evaluations
Jonathan Bernier
Dustin Brown
Jeff Carter
Kyle Clifford
Drew Doughty
Keaton Ellerby
Colin Fraser
Matt Greene
Dwight King

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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.