Player evaluation: King
This season: 6 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 2 penalty minutes, 11:43 average ice time.
The good: When Scott Parse left the lineup in November, King was doing a solid job at the AHL level and got the call to join the Kings. In only his second NHL game, King found himself on the Kings’ first line, playing left wing alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, so clearly the scouting reports on King from the AHL were strong enough for the Kings to show that confidence in him. After returning to the AHL, King finished strong and finished the season with 24 goals in 71 games.
The bad: Thrust into that high-profile role very early in his NHL career, King looked tentative and seemed to be having trouble keeping up with the pace. HIs elevation to the top line seemed to be a move born from a bit of desperation, and that’s not King’s fault, but even in brief stints on the third line and fourth line, King didn’t quite seem to fit in with the Kings.
Going forward: King has one season remaining on this contract and is still only 21 years old. He shouldn’t be completely judged based on those six games. That was a whirlwind, trial-by-fire scenario with a high chance of failure, and to be sure, it didn’t go as well as King or the Kings might have hoped. Still, King showed scoring potential for the Monarchs and is known as a hard worker. He will have a difficult time cracking the Kings’ roster out of training camp next season but can still be a quality depth player.