Player evaluation: Loktionov - LA Kings Insider

ANDREI LOKTIONOV
This season: 39 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, minus-4 rating.
The good: In small bursts, Loktionov had showed why the Kings continue to give him chances and why they continue to regard him as a strong prospect. When in a scoring position, Loktionov can get his shot off quickly, and it’s accurate. He also skates well and protects the puck well. Loktionov has bounced back and forth between the Kings and the Manchester Monarchs a few times over the past two seasons, and he has maintained a good attitude and fits in wherever and whenever he is asked. Loktionov was ready and able to go in the first round of the playoffs, after Brad Richardson’s appendectomy and Kyle Clifford’s concussion.
The bad: Loktionov finally made it through a season without a significant injury, but he has yet to make the big breakthrough and convince the Kings that he will be a big part of their future. To be fair, Loktionov has been put in something of a tough spot. As the top call-up candidate among Manchester forwards, Loktionov can never seem to get settled in one place for too long, in a regular role, but still, he needs to find a way to shine. In 32 games with the Monarchs this season, he had only five goals and 15 assists. In order to thrive at the NHL level, Loktionov still needs to add some strength, which he can. He’s still only 22.
Going forward: Loktionov needs to quickly figure out what he is, establish an identity and put it on display for the coaches and management. Right now, he’s a man in the middle, and that’s not where anyone wants to be. Loktionov hasn’t shown enough high-end offensive skill to play in a top-six role and he hasn’t shown enough grit to play in a bottom-six role. Overall, he’s still a solid prospect, but as with Trevor Lewis this season, Loktionov needs to have at least one part of his game start to stand out. Otherwise, it will be too easy for Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi to keep him on the outside looking in.