Player evaluation: Stoll
This season: 73 games, 16 goals, 31 assists, 40 penalty minutes, 17:25 average ice time.
The good: Stoll’s game can be difficult to evaluate. He’s not outstanding in any one particular area — with the exception of winning faceoffs — and not glaringly bad in any particular area, but he’s above-average in many areas. Stoll had his highest totals in assists and points since the 2005-06 season and is a versatile center who ranked fourth on the team in power-play points (21).
The bad: Stoll’s season got off to a rough start when he learned, before training camp, that he had arthritis. The condition was controlled through medication, and Stoll never complained about it, but it’s difficult to say how much it might have impacted his play this season. Is it possible that Stoll is mis-cast a bit? It’s a pretty dramatic fall-off in points, from the No. 1 center (Anze Kopitar, with 81) to the No. 2 center (Stoll, with 47).
Going forward: The Kings have an interesting situation with their forwards. They have Kopitar ($6.8 million cap hit), Handzus ($4 million) and Stoll ($3.6 million), with prospects such as Brayden Schenn and Andrei Loktionov knocking on the door. Stoll played wing a bit this season as well. Is a shift possible, or will the Kings wait a year on a player such as Schenn and re-evaluate next summer?