LA Kings: Anze Kopitar has opportunity to move up in team’s record books

With a strong performance in the 2021 season, Anze Kopitar can move up in the LA Kings’ regular-season leaderboards in several categories.

Despite being 33 years of age, Anze Kopitar continues to play at a high level for the LA Kings. The former 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Draft has four years left on his deal in Los Angeles, and when all is said and done, he could be atop the leaderboards in several categories.

For now, we’ll focus on the 2021 season and see where Kopitar has the opportunity to move up. And for this exercise, the milestone chances have been broken down into two categories.

Very Likely

Games played

Kopitar is chasing a moving target in Dustin Brown, who leads the organization with 1,183 games played. But the former is fourth all-time with 1,073 games played, just 38 games behind Dave Taylor for second all-time. Much will depend if the league implements an 82-game schedule and also Kopitar’s health. But given the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact, the NHL is likely looking at the temporary realignment of the divisions and an all Canadian division while targeting 60-ish games. Look for Kopitar to leapfrog both Luc Robitaille (1077 games played) and Taylor in 2021.

Assists

While he’s the active leader in assists on the roster, Anze Kopitar’s 617 career assists are fourth-most all-time for the organization, 21 behind Dave Taylor (638) for third-all time. The latter was one of the best players to come through the doors in Los Angeles, near the top of the leaderboards in several categories. Kopitar tallied 41 assists a year ago. He should easily move into third all-time in assists.

Game Winning Goals

Sitting third all-time with 53 game-winning goals, Kopitar is six behind Marcel Dionne, who is second all-time with 59 game-winners. The former recorded a career-high nine game-winning goals during the 2013-2014 season and five last season. He has a great opportunity to pass Dionne in the upcoming year.

Not Likely

Shorthanded Goals

Kopitar is in good company here, sitting fifth all-time with 13 shorthanded goals. He’s four behind Wayne Gretzky (17). The problem is that Kopitar has never logged more than two shorthanded goals in his career. Crazier things have happened, but he might be two seasons away from passing “The Great One.”

Goals

Kopitar sits with the fourth-most goals in franchise history. His 333 career goals are 98 behind Taylor for third all-time on the LA Kings’ leaderboard. Kopitar was the only player on the roster to surpass the 20-goal mark last season. Depending on how many games the upcoming season is, which by all accounts, appears to be at least 60, Kopitar should pass Taylor within the next three to four seasons.

Points

Tied to his goal and assists production, Kopitar sits fourth all-time with 950 career points. He’s 119 points from surpassing Taylor for third all-time on the organization’s career point total. Look for Kopitar to achieve the milestone in the 2021-2022 season.