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Tuesday, September 6, 2005
No. 11 pick Kopitar, Kings reach deal


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.