The Slovenian Sport: Anze Kopitar of the LA Kings Is Freakishly Good

November 11th, 2009 by Scott Weldon Leave a reply »
Now, if you ask me who the leading scorer in the NHL is right now, I'd guess Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby. I might think Evgeny Malkin or Pavel Datsyuk. There's an outside shot it's Zach Parise or Henrik Zetterburg. You ask me where he's from, and there's no way I'm saying Slovenia.

Honestly, Slovenia sounds like a made up country. Isn't that where Boris and Natasha from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon came from? My geographical ignorance isn't completely unfounded. This country is so new the CIA world fact book gives me a map, a flag, and nothing else. Oh and the capital is Ljubljana. But we all knew that.

Slovenia, with its two million people and one thousand registered hockey players and one tiny port on the Adriatic (Koper), was once an integral part of Yugoslavia. For the last 19 years, it has been it's own independent republic.

That's right, the NHL scoring leader is actually older then the country he comes from. How's that for a Zen koan that'll keep you meditating on the meaning of life?

Anze Kopitar was effectively identified, scouted, assessed and drafted despite the fact that he played mostly in Slovenian hockey leagu ...

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