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Anze Kopitar

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Personal Life

Kopitar was born in Jesenice, Slovenia then part of Yugoslavia to Matjaž and Mateja Kopitar. Matjaž played hockey for HK Acroni Jesenice, winning the league title three times, and was a member of the Yugoslav and Slovenian national teams.He also coached HK Acroni Jesenice of the Austrian Hockey League during the 2006–2007 season and the Slovenian national team from 2010 until 2015.  Mateja worked at the family restaurant, Hrušica, a village about five kilometres from Jesenice.

When Kopitar was four, his father first taught him how to skate; Matjaž built an ice rink in their backyard in Hrusica, and Kopitar would play there whenever he could.Kopitar has a brother, Gasper, who is five years younger. Gasper also plays hockey; when the Kopitar family moved to Los Angeles, Gašper joined a junior team sponsored by the Kings. He then played for the Portland Winterhawks of the major junior Western Hockey League  and the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League (USHL), before turning professional with Mora IK in Sweden.Kopitar’s grandmother taught English at a local high school, and both Kopitar and his brother learned to speak English from her. Kopitar speaks five languages: Slovene, Serbian, German, Swedish, and English.

Los Angeles King Career
Kopitar signed an entry-level contract with the Kings on 7 September 2005, but returned to play in Sweden for another season. The next year, 2006, he accepted an invitation to Los Angeles’ rookie camp. He made his NHL debut on 6 October 2006, against the Anaheim Ducksand scored two goals in the game. In January 2007, he was named to the NHL YoungStars Game, an event included at the All-Star Game festivities; Kopitar recorded two goals and three assists.Kopitar completed his first NHL season third among rookies in scoring, behind Evgeni Malkin and Paul Šťastný, with 20 goals and 41 assists for 61 points. It marked the fifth-highest point total by a Kings rookie, and the highest since Luc Robitaille in 1986–1887.He finished fourth in voting for the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year. Kopitar was awarded the Mark Bavis Memorial Award as the best first-year member of the Kings and was also named the Kings’ Most Popular Player.

Player Style
Kopitar is known in the NHL as one of the most effective two-way forwards, in that he is effective both as an offensive and defensive player. A finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which is given to the best defensive forward in the NHL, in both 2014 and 2015, Kopitar won the award in 2016.  He is known for being skilled at taking faceoffs, with one of the highest averages in the league during his career. He is also skilled at offence, and led the Kings in team scoring from 2008 until 2016.


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Anze Kopitar