Loktionov returns in high-profile role - LA Kings Insider

Andrei Loktinov is back with the Kings, in a high-profile role. He will be the first-line left winger tonight, alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and Terry Murray indicated that Loktionov will get power-play time as well. Loktionov made the Kings’ roster coming out of training camp and had one goal and one assist in seven games — he was a healthy scratch in four other games — before he was assigned to Manchester of the AHL on Nov. 2. With the Monarchs, Loktionov was the only player on a point-per-game pace, with 31 points (eight goals, 23 assists) in 31 games. He also missed some time recently, as he had to return to Russia after the death of his father, but in his three games after his return, Loktionov had two goals and two assists. After today’s morning skate, Murray talked about his decision to put Loktionov on the first line.

MURRAY: “We gave that a look in the early part of the year. He’s a very high-skilled player that, I think, can create a lot of 5-on-5 (chances). He’s got great composure with the puck, and he’s going to add to the power play, with his abilities there to show the composure, settle it down, maybe open some ice up with that composure when pressured. Settle it, make good plays. We’re hoping we can get some good results on the power play with him there. … We’re not looking for him to be the answer, and have the whole weight on his shoulders. We just want him to be a good player. He was a good player at the start of the year for us. He wasn’t quite ready. He went back down to Manchester and kept working on his game. He was one of the better players — maybe the best player — down there. He was one of the better players in the league. So his game is starting to come together as a pro, and we want him to be a good player. That’s all. Don’t shoulder any other responsibilities in that area.”

Loktionov is a natural center and, frankly, looked far more comfortable at center than at wing early in the season, but the current opening is for a winger, and Loktionov is happy to fill it.

LOKTIONOV: “I have played left wing only 10 games in my life, probably, so it’s tough to say [what he learned from playing wing earlier]. Everything is different. … But I don’t care. I just want to play and be here.”

He’s also happy with the upgrade in weather. There’s a high of 28 degrees in Manchester today, compared to 74 degrees in Los Angeles.

LOKTIONOV: “It’s a little bit hot [laughs]. In Manchester, there’s so much snow and we cannot drive cars. It was so bad. Yesterday, we go — with Slava [Viatcheslav Voynov] — to lunch, and we had to push his car. Some people helped us.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.