Player evaluation: Drewiske
This season: 42 games, 1 goal, 7 assists, 14 penalty minutes, 15:15 average ice time.
The good: After a 17-game stint in 2008-09, Drewiske earned a roster spot coming out of training camp this season and was a regular part of the lineup until he suffered an injury in early January. At his best, Drewiske brings a big body (6-foot-2, 222 pounds) who can play a physical game without taking excessive penalties. The Kings thought enough of him, at the start of the season, to give him a roster spot over some of the higher-profile prospects in the system.
The bad: Drewiske was unable to make an impact after he returned from his shoulder injury and appeared in only four games after Jan. 4. Drewiske doesn’t have much of a puck-moving, offensive game, so if he’s going to make an impact, he has to be physical. In the eyes of coach Terry Murray, Drewiske didn’t do enough of that, which is what got him scratched from the lineup, almost exclusively, for the second half of the season.
Going forward: If there’s one player, in particular, the Kings would like to see dramatic improvement from, it’s probably Drewiske. If he can hold down that role of big-bodied, stay-at-home responsible defenseman, it would make it easier for them to transition away from Sean O’Donnell, or a similar veteran. Even though he’s getting older and slower, O’Donnell still brings significant grit to the game, and that’s what Drewiske needs to show more often.