Player evaluation: Lewis
This season: 5 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 penalty minutes, 9:08 average ice time.
The good: You might recall that Dean Lombardi once thought so much of Lewis that he, not Pavol Demitra or Patrick O’Sullivan, was the focal point of Lombardi’s first major trade as Kings GM. Lewis, a first-round pick that year, is a versatile player with a scoring tough — he had 20 goals for Manchester last season — and is increasingly known as a solid locker-room leader.
The bad: After being sent down by the Kings in October, Lewis suffered a major shoulder injury that limited him to 23 games with the Monarchs this season. In limited time at the NHL level, he has yet to establish a role for himself. He has yet to show enough offensive flair to demand a top-six role, and he has yet to show enough grit to play on the fourth line.
Going forward: Lewis is only 23 years old, so there’s still time here, but at some point soon, he needs to show that he can rise above the level of simply being a good AHL player. With the expected departure of Jeff Halpern, it’s likely that Lewis will get another crack at a roster spot when training camp begins in September.