Player evaluation: Bernier - LA Kings Insider

First, the regularly scheduled Stanley Cup update… After its days with Slava Voynov and Andrei Loktionov in Russia, the Cup has now reached Slovenia and Anze Kopitar will have his day tomorrow (it’s now evening in Slovenia). Make sure those accordions are tuned… Also, it’s time for the annual player evaluations. For those who aren’t familiar, I’ll go through the Kings’ roster and evaluate each player in terms of what we saw this season and what we might expect next season, and then you can vote for a “grade” and we’ll see, at the end, which players graded best. Going alphabetically, we’ll start with Jonathan Bernier


This season: 16 games, 5-6-2 record, 2.36 goals-against average, .909 save percentage, 1 shutout.
The good: In his second full season as Jonathan Quick’s backup, Bernier was arguably as good as any No. 2 goalie in the league. His season got off to a rough beginning. His first start came in the second game of the season, in Berlin after a long night of European travel. His second start came at home, after Terry Murray decided to start him after Quick’s three consecutive shutouts. Bernier hit his stride in late December, when he allowed two or fewer goals in four consecutive starts. Bernier is a technically sound goalie whose economy in movement allows him to get in good position and swallow up shots.
The bad: Bernier started 22 games in 2010-11 and the plan, heading into this season, seemed to be to get him at least that many starts. Murray even raised some eyebrows in training camp when he indicated that he would go with the “hot hand’’ in goal. Quick, however, got off to a brilliant start and Bernier quickly got relegated to spot duty. Bernier started only 13 games and appeared in three others. For a 23-year-old goalie, one with great potential, that’s not enough on a personal level. On the ice, Bernier is still prone to uneven stretches, particularly in terms of controlling rebounds.
Going forward: Decision time is nearing for Bernier and the Kings. He has one more year left under his current contract, and with Quick having signed a 10-year contract extension, it’s clear that he’s the Kings’ goalie of the future. It’s reasonable to think that the Kings might now look to trade Bernier, but his name has come up in trade talks over the past year, and the Kings have been less than impressed with the offers. It’s highly possible that the Kings will keep Bernier as an insurance policy at the start of the season, then look to move him at the trade deadline or next summer. To his credit, Bernier has been a good teammate and has not publicly bemoaned his lack of playing time.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.