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Kopitar's value quickly increasing

Anze Kopitar has scored in 18 of 22 games and had
three scoring streaks of five games-or-more this season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin is the best player in the NHL, almost everyone can agree with that, but the best player though November 18th might be Los Angeles Kings centerman Anze Kopitar.

Kopitar leads the NHL in scoring with 14G and 18A in 22 games for the Kings. He also leads the league in power play points with four goals and 10 assists. Not bad for a center who tallied "just" 66 points last season, down from 77 the previous year.

On Draft Day, Kopitar didn't get a lot of respect, going in the eighth round (ADP 76) and was about the 20th centerman selected. But while many players drafted in front of him are struggling, Kopitar is playing great for the 13-9 Kings.

Playing primarily on a line with LW Ryan Smyth (9G, 14A) and RW Justin Williams (5G, 10A), Kopitar has scored in 18 of 22 games and had three scoring streaks of five games-or-more this season. He's also improved his plus/minus rating from a -15 and -17 the past two years to +6 so far this year.

Kopitar's only "fantasy weakness" is the lack of penalty minutes. He has just six all season, but that's to be expected from a team's primary scorer. You can't put the puck in the net from the penalty box and the team needs him on the ice as much as possible.

Anze Kopitar NHL Statistics
YearGmGAPts+/-PIMPPGPPASOG
2006-0772204161-1224722193
2007-0882324577-15221222201
2008-0982273966-1732716234
2009-10221418326641065


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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