Los Angeles Kings’ captain Anze Kopitar has now officially hit 1,000 career NHL points. With the assist he tallied in LA’s victory over the Arizona Coyotes on May 5, 2021, he has now reached the 1,000-point pinnacle. He is the 91st player in league history to achieve this milestone, and has now collected more career points than legends such as Paul Kariya, Maurice Richard, Dave Keon and more.
Just six games into the 2020-21 season, Kopitar surpassed former Kings’ coach and player Larry Robinson to cement his name in the top-100 point scorers in NHL history. Additionally, he nabbed a few LA franchise milestones this season, such as moving into third all-time for assists with the franchise and moving into second in all-time games played with the Kings, surpassing legendary forward Dave Taylor in both regards.
How Kopitar Got Here
Kopitar has been a career King and still skates at an elite level night in and night out. In fact, last season (2019-20) he was named to the NHL’s top 20 centre list. He is one of just three Slovenian-born players in NHL history and is by far the best player in NHL history to hail from the country. He is a two-time Selke Trophy winner, and over a five-season period (2013-14 to 2017-18), Kopitar and Patrice Bergeron were the only players to win the award. Many NHL fans jokingly refer to the Selke as “The Bergeron Award” due to him winning the award so frequently, meaning that Kopitar swapping the award with him over a five-year period goes to show how phenomenal of a two-way forward Kopitar is.
Additionally, he nabbed a Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2015-16, which is highly impressive considering he also won the Selke that season for being the best defensive forward. Defensive players are more likely to take penalties because they throw hits and use their sticks to steal the puck, which sometimes trips up the opposing player. Hockey is a team sport, and he hasn’t just racked up individual success, as he has helped lead LA to two Stanley Cup victories; the only times the franchise has won hockey’s greatest prize.
Furthermore, he is known for both being a fan favorite and for his engaging personality. In fact, he won an Emmy Award, which was bestowed upon him by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for a short promo that highlights his personality. This promo actually came in the form of a YouTube video called “Kopitar: It’s LA. It’s the Kings,” which is on the team’s YouTube channel. In the video, Kopitar finds his Stanley Cup ring buried in the sand at a sunny beach.
Kopitar’s Great Career & More to Look Forward to
Overall, Kopitar has been a remarkably consistent point producer throughout his 15-year NHL career. His best season was a 92- point effort in 2017-18, while in a full-season (e.g. one that wasn’t hampered due to a lockout or COVID-19) he has only hit below 60 points once. Overall, 1,000 career points is a fantastic milestone, and Kopitar has been a remarkably steady player both offensively and defensively every season that he’s skated in. Kings fans should be looking forward to seeing more of his career unfold in the future.
I am a lifelong hockey fan who will be covering the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks here at The Hockey Writers. Before joining The Hockey Writers I spent two years blogging about hockey.
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