2018-19 LA Kings roster: Anze Kopitar player profile

AXS Sports is in the process of profiling 25 Los Angeles Kings players and coaches prior to the 2018-19 season. In the eighth part of the series, it is time to profile Kings captain Anze Kopitar. 

Selected in the first round, 11th overall, by the Kings in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar is 31 years old. He shoots left, is 6'3", 225 pounds and is a center. 

At the time of being drafted by the Kings, Kopitar was playing for Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Elite League. He played one more season in Sweden in 2005-06, before joining the Kings for the 2006-07 season. Kopitar is entering his 12th season with the Kings. 

The captain for the Kings since 2016-17, Kopitar is the best Slovenian to ever play in the National Hockey League. In 922 career NHL games, Kopitar has 290 goals and 538 assists for 828 points. He has been a +90 with only 248 penalty minutes. 

Kopitar has always been known for his discipline and ability to be strong in his defensive zone. He won the Lady Byng Trophy in 2016 and Selke Trophy in 2016 and 2018. 

However, in 2017-18, Kopitar was also strong offensively as he was a nominee for the Hart Trophy for the first time in his career. He had a career high in goals (35), assists (57), points (92), and faceoff wins (983). 

On March 22, Kopitar had a career-high four goals in a 7-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. It was the fourth time in Kopitar's career he recorded a hat trick. Kopitar also recorded four points (one goal and three assists) in a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings on March 15. 

In the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kopitar had one goal and one assist for two points. He now has 66 points in 79 playoff games. Kopitar co-led the NHL in playoff goals (eight), playoff assists (12), playoff points (20), playoff plus/minus (+16), and playoff shorthanded goals (two) when the Kings won the 2012 Stanley Cup. Two years later, Kopitar led the NHL in playoff assists (21) and playoff points (26) as the Kings once again won the Stanley Cup. 

Kopitar has also represented the Kings in four NHL all-star games. In 2018-19, expect Kopitar to center the Kings number one line.

To see Kopitar and the Kings for the 2018-19 NHL season at the Staples Center, please click here.