Last season was the official coming out party for not only the Los Angeles Kings, but also for star center Anze Kopitar. The Kings won their first NHL Stanley Cup in the history of the organization and Kopitar was one of the main focal points in the team’s late season charge.
Kopitar finished the 2011 regular season with 25 goals, 51 assists, and 76 total points. He amazingly played in all 82 games last year and hasn’t started less than 72 games in a season in his underrated six-year professional career. He has quietly matured into one of the most reliable fantasy hockey centers in the game.
More importantly was that Kopitar flourished down the stretch during the Kings magical playoff run. The 25-year-old amazingly scored eight goals with 2 assists (20 total points) in 20 postseason games, and is responsible for one of the most noteworthy performances in the history of the Stanley Cup.
Kopitar is currently on the mend with a right knee sprain after a collision in the boards while playing in Sweden, but he is already skating with a knee brace and taking shots in practice. Regardless it still looks as if it will cause him to be out a couple weeks, but the latest prognosis doesn’t have him missing many games.
Los Angeles does not seem too concerned with the injury, so fantasy owners should take a similar approach. Kopitar is too electric to let a minor injury keep him from getting drafted in the first three rounds, so draft him as a starter this week and don’t think twice about it.
AK will still be a very strong starting center in fantasy leagues this season. He will be able to be drafted outside of the top five at the position, which only gives the Yugoslavian more fantasy value. His injury will not keep him out long, so the center is one injury risk that will pay off sooner rather than later.
Kopitar will be an elite fantasy option and is developing into one of the best keepers at the center position. Grab this speedster now as your starter, before he is taken off the trade block forever.