It is no secret that the LA Kings are a younger and deeper team than they have been in the past, yet LA is still reliant on Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty to bring consistent production. 

Anze Kopitar

The Kings’ captain is in his 17th year and shows no signs of slowing down. During last season, Kopitar’s offensive statistics were slightly down, and many questioned if he was still worthy of the 1C title.

This year, however, he has put these questions to rest. Kopitar’s 1.0 goals per 60 minutes are his highest seen since his career-best 1.2 in the 2017-18 season when he ended with 35 goals. He already has 20 goals, and there are still 21 games remaining for that number to increase.

Kopitar has been on a tear since the new year, scoring 24 points in 21 games. While Kevin Fiala will most likely lead the team in total scoring this year, a title that Kopitar himself has held the last five seasons, he is still the Kings’ best and most important player. He wins 56% of his face-offs, which is first on the team and one of the NHL’s best percentages.

The 35-year-old is once again playing over 20 minutes a night while matching up against the best players on other teams. Kopitar is still underrated by many, but to the Kings, he is essential to the team’s success, and his production on both ends of the ice is the foundation for any LA win. 


Drew Doughty 

Drew Doughty was having one of the best seasons of his career in 2021-22 until injuries derailed his season, only playing in 39 games. In 2022-23, a healthy Drew Doughty did not lose a step. He once again leads all Kings’ defensemen in scoring with 37 points in 60 games with a plus-5 rating thus far. 

Doughty’s time on ice has also not been reduced, as he is averaging 26:16 a night, the second most in the entire league. The 33-year-old has been a stabilizing force for the Kings’ backend, and his pairing with Mikey Anderson has become one of the best shutdown pairs in the NHL. 

Doughty recently discussed his role on the Kings and his main focus for this season and beyond, “My role hasn’t changed too much. I’m mostly focused on playing good defense at this point in my career. I’m not too worried about getting points and stuff as long as we’re winning… My objective is to win another Stanley Cup here with the Kings organization.” 

The veteran defenseman missed out on the playoffs last season after undergoing wrist surgery, and his absence in 2021-2022 seems to have given Doughty the extra motivation to get this Kings team back there again this season.

Despite their ages and years in the league, Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty have proven once again to be the glue that holds the Kings together. The current team’s roster is built for both the present and future, but the two veterans, who are the living embodiment of the team’s past success, will be the ones whose play this year will ultimately determine just how far the Kings can go.


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