Player evaluation: Kopitar



This season: 82 games, 32 goals, 45 assists, minus-15 rating.

Positives: Almost too many to list. After an excellent rookie season, Kopitar played all 82 games and improved his numbers in almost every category. By all accounts, he’s a hard worker, a good teammate and a potential team leader. On the ice, he’s creative, strong on the puck and has tremendous vision and great hands. What else is there?

Negatives: Someone would have to be fairly creative to come up with a major negative in Kopitar’s game. Kopitar’s main challenge will be to continue to improve, make his teammates better and fill a team leadership role.

Looking ahead: Kopitar is the Kings’ unquestioned No. 1 center, and the only remaining question is, “How good can he be?” It’s almost shocking to think he doesn’t turn 21 until August. His ability to play at a high level will be crucial if the Kings are to

Contract situation: Signed through 2008-09 (cap number of $955,867 next season).

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