Los Angeles Kings forward Anze Kopitar has been selected to play for the 2011 All-Star squad at the upcoming NHL All-Star Game at Raleigh ’s RBC Center on Sunday, January 30, the NHL announced this morning.
Kopitar, 23, will be making his second NHL All-Star Game appearance (he was an All-Star in 2008 for the Western Conference when the Game was played in Atlanta ). The 6-3, 227-pounder from Jesenice , Slovenia , was originally selected by the Kings in the first-round (11th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
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This season, Kopitar leads the team with 45 points, 30 assists (15-30=45) and 147 shots on goal while playing in all 42 games. His 45 points are tied for ninth in the NHL, while his 30 assists are tied for sixth. Kopitar also leads the Kings with five game-winning goals, tied for fourth in the league.
Following the announcement last week by the NHL of the top six NHL® All-Stars, the League today released the names of the additional 36 All-Stars and 12 rookies. As previously announced, the NHL, working in conjunction with the National Hockey League Players’ Association, replaced the traditional conference vs. conference format for the All-Star teams with a player draft that determined the team rosters for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover as well as the Honda NHL SuperSkills®. The NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be televised live nationwide on TSN in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. on January 28 at 5 p.m. PT from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center .
The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The League’s mid-season spectacular will take place Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30 and will include Honda NHL SuperSkills® and the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at the RBC Center . Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada . The Honda SuperSkills® will begin at 4 p.m. (PT) on Saturday, and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will start at 1 p.m. (PT) on Sunday.
Entering this season, Kopitar played in 255 straight games (the current streak is 297). Last year he set career highs in goals, assists and points as he led the team in goals, assists, points, power-play goals (14, tied for third in NHL), power-play points (38, third in NHL), power play assists (24, tied for seventh in NHL), shootout goals (8, tied for first in NHL: 8-for-16) and 259 shots.
He has scored 20-plus goals in each of his first four full NHL seasons. The last King to do that was Luc Robitaille , who scored 20-plus goals his first eight seasons: 1986-87 to 1993-94. Kopitar also last season led the Kings with 18 multi-point games (Kings were 15-1-2 in those games) and he was one of three Kings to play in all 82 games (Dustin Brown and Drew Doughty were the others). Kopitar was selected as the Kings MVP (Bill Libby Memorial Award) and recipient of the Kings Leading Scorer Award. The Kings, entering this campaign, are 59-27-10 when he scores (20-6-2 in 2009-10).
Kopitar also last season made his NHL playoff debut. He tied for third on club with five points (2-3=5); he led Kings with 18 shots; and he scored the overtime game-winner in Game 2 at Vancouver .
In 2008-09, Kopitar was the recipient of the Kings Leading Scorer Award as he led the Kings with 66 points and 39 assists while ranking second on the club with 27 goals. Prior to that season, he was named an alternate captain on October 8, 2008. In 2007-08 he was selected as the Kings MVP (Bill Libby Memorial Award) and recipient of Kings Leading Scorer Award, the second youngest King to win the club’s MVP Award (20 years, 7 months, 12 days – Jimmy Carson was the youngest at 19 years, 8 months, 14 days). That season he led the Kings with 77 points, 45 assists and 52 takeaways while tying for the club lead with 12 power-play goals. He finished second on club with 32 goals and was named to 2008 NHL All-Star Team on January 10, 2008.
In 2006-07, his rookie season, Kopitar was selected as the Kings Best Newcomer and Most Popular Player while becoming the first-ever native of Slovenia to play in the NHL. He finished third among NHL rookies with 41 assists, 61 points and 29 power-play points, and he finished second among rookies with 22 power-play assists and tied for fifth with seven powerplay goals. He also that was season was selected to participate at the YoungStars Game as part of the 2007 NHL All-Star Game festivities.
Internationally, Kopitar last represented his native Slovenia at 2008 World Championships (5 GP, 3-1=4) – led club in goals and points. He has also represented Slovenia (host country) at the: 2007 Division I World Championships (5GP, 1-13=14, plus-9) – led club in points, assists and plus-minus (Slovenians won tournament and a promotion into the 2008 World Championships); he led Slovenia in scoring at the 2006 World Championships (6GP, 3-6=9); he played for Slovenia (host country) at the 2006 Division I World Junior Championships (5 GP, 5-1=6) – led club in goals and points; represented Slovenia at the World Championships in 2005 (6 GP, 1-0=1) and at the Division I World Junior Championships in 2005 (5GP, 10-3=13, +8) and 2004 (5 GP, 1-1=2). He also played for Slovenia at the Division I World U18 Championships in 2005, 2004 and 2003.
For a comprehensive look at Kopitar and the Kings All-Star history, visit www.lakings.com/allstar.
The Kings continue their season-high eight-game homestand on Thursday against St. Louis at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss the broadcast on your hometown station, KHTS AM1220. For all Kings ticket information, call 1-888-KINGS-LA and visit www.LAKings.com.