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No. 11 pick Kopitar, Kings reach deal

9/6/2005 - NHL

Los Angeles Kings: Center Anze Kopitar, the first European player selected in the 2005 NHL draft, agreed to an entry-level, multiyear contract.

Terms were not disclosed.

A native of Slovenia, Kopitar played junior hockey with Swedish
club Sodertalje in 2004-05 and recorded 28 goals and 21 assists
in 30 games. He represented Slovenia at the Olympic
qualification tournament February in Latvia and at the
World Championships in May in Austria.

The 11th overall pick in the draft, Kopitar intends to play for
Sodertalje again in 2005-06.

"We are aware of Anze's desire to play at least one more year in
Europe this coming season," Kings general manager Dave Taylor
said. "He has a very good development situation in Sodertalje
and it is quite probable he will be assigned back to Sweden."

The 18-year-old Kopitar will participate for the Kings in this
week's "Pacific Division Shootout," a four-team rookie
tournament hosted by San Jose from Wednesday through Sunday.