30 best NHL players of the 21st century: 20. Anze Kopitar
A player who’s been the star on two Stanley Cup teams in the second-biggest media market in the United States should get about as much publicity as an NHL star can get, right? Somehow, the Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar has come out of all this underrated. He’s still incredibly successful and continues making a name for himself.
Kopitar has over 1,100 career points and is playing some of his best hockey yet. He’s obviously a great goal-scoring center, but he’s also probably the best two-way player in the game. He’s a two-time Selke Trophy winner, and he’s been able to stay relevant after the rest of his Kings teammates fell off the map.
It’s been five years since Jeff Carter has scored 30 goals. Jonathan Quick hasn’t been one of the best in the NHL in about as long as that. The stars of those champion Kings teams are no longer relevant to the winning culture. One player, who is? Kopitar.
In his NHL career so far, Kopitar was below a 60-point pace once. Some were worried about Kopitar falling off once he turned 30, but he’s turned it on again and is back to scoring close to a point per game for the past few seasons. The Kings look to be putting together a winner again, so Kopitar can continue to be a star well into the second half of his career.