Hockey

Los Angeles Kings Season Preview

Los Angeles Kings
(PHOTO BY JUAN OCAMPO/NHLI VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The Los Angeles Kings are trying to accelerate the rebuild. It hasn’t been easy the past few seasons after winning two cups in 2012 and 2014. Most members from the team are gone, and now it’s a budding youth movement. The Los Angeles Kings still have a lot of work ahead of them. Can they be competitive this year? Can they swing a trade for a star? Let’s break it all down.

The Lines

According to Daily Faceoff, this is how the lines are constructed as of right now:

First line – Alex Iafallo, Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson

Second line – Adrian Kempe, Phillip Danault, Dustin Brown

Third line – Trevor Moore, Quinton Byfield, Andreas Athanasiou

Fourth line – Jaret Anderson Dolan, Blaze Lizotte, Gabriel Vilardi

Many feel as though Danault was the best center available. However, others feel he is not a top six player anymore. He signed a six year deal in free agency. It looks like former 2020 second overall pick Quinton Byfield will be getting a full time opportunity now. The hope is that he eventually develops into a top line player. Byfield being selected number two overall is the highest a black player has ever been drafted. The Kings are always rumored to be in the mix to trade for a top six forward. But that has yet to happen. Getting a player of that nature could jumpstart this team again.

The Backend

The defense leaves a little more to be desired. It helps that they have some youth. Daily Faceoff also has the pairings and goaltenders:

Mikey Anderson and Drew Doughty

Alexander Edler and Sean Walker

Tobias Bjornfot and Matt Roy

Goalies: Cal Peterson and Jonathan Quick

Here is the good news. Anderson and Bjornfot are 20 and 22 respectively and have bright futures. When you look at the core, there is no certified super star. Doughty has done good work, but he is probably closer to the end. The Kings could have made a run at Nikita Zadorov as opposed to bringing in 35 year old Edler. Cal Foote was on the market and could have been paired with a veteran.

Most of them are still in their mid 20s which is also an advantage. Another issue right now is lack of an enforcer. Kurtis MacDermid was that edge, but he was drafted by Seattle then traded to Colorado. For now, Doughty could be the de facto “tough guy” and others will need to step up. Peterson will have the cage full time soon. Quick is only still around because that contract is untradeable. Overall, the Kings will have work to do with the pacific division back. Vegas and Edmonton will be viewed as the favorites and Seattle will try to become a heavy hitter as well.

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