May 5, 2011 9:00 am

Player evaluation: Loktionov

ANDREI LOKTIONOV
This season: 19 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, 2 penalty minutes, 14:46 average ice time.
The good: Loktionov performed well enough in training camp, and showed enough much-needed offensive flair, that the Kings kept him around at the start of the season and gave him a handful of games. Loktionov showed potential at center, both at even strength and on the power play, and showed the ability to creative offensive for himself with bursts to the net. Loktionov also looked comfortable in a defensive role at center and did not look out of place.
The bad: Even after three seasons in North America, Loktionov still needs to get stronger. He’s in danger of falling into the same category as Oscar Moller, that of a center with a lot of heart and some offensive skill, but not enough bulk to stand up to the pounding of the NHL game. The Kings hoped Loktionov could adapt to the wing, but he seemed apprehensive about the move to start with and looked much more comfortable when moved back to center.
Going forward: Loktionov has suffered major shoulder injuries in each of his past two seasons. He doesn’t turn 21 until this month, so there’s no reason for alarm, but at some point, Loktionov is going to have to prove that he can hold up under the physical demands of the NHL game. In the best-case scenario, Loktionov could be slotted into a second-line center spot. The potential skill is there, but will Loktionov be able to rise to that level eventually?

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