Player evaluation: Drewiske
This season: 38 games, 0 goals, 5 assists, 19 penalty minutes, 14:21 average ice time.
The good: Drewiske’s challenge, since he made the jump to the NHL, was to use his 6-foot-2, 218-pound frame more effectively, to play more of a physical game and less of a “contain” game in the defensive zone. For the most part, he did that. Drewiske, at his best, is expected to be solid, not flashy, and when he played, Drewiske was quietly consistent and was a more-than-capable fill-in for Matt Greene in the early part of the season, when Greene recovered from his shoulder surgery.
The bad: Drewiske didn’t really do anything wrong. The fact of the matter is that he’s simply not a puck-moving, scoring defenseman, and the Kings set up their defense to match three puck-movers with three stay-at-home defensemen. Drewiske fits into the latter category, but veterans Greene, Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi stayed healthy for most of the season and filled those roles, and rookie Alec Martinez proved capable of filling the sixth defenseman’s spot, with his good shot and power-play ability.
Going forward: Because of his age (26), constancy and team-first attitude, Drewiske was a natural to fill the seventh-defenseman spot this season. He has one more season on his contract and could fill that role again, and could contribute more in the case of injury. Or given that opposing general managers were sniffing around Drewiske at the trade deadline, is it possible that Drewiske might be part of a package, if the Kings find what they’re looking for on the trade market?