Player evaluation: Lewis
This season: 48 games, 5 goals, 9 assists, 14 points, 19 penalty minutes, plus-5 rating
The good: If there’s a player who has clearly taken a step forward in his progression and usage under Darryl Sutter, it’s Trevor Lewis. One of the fastest skaters on the club, Lewis has continued to refine his niche as a responsible defensive forward who forechecks effectively and is capable of providing some secondary scoring. He established a career high in points despite playing in a 48-game lockout-shortened season and finished his campaign with 14 points over his final 35 games after being held scoreless through the first 13. Here’s a trivia question: Who was the only player outside the team’s top two lines whose shots on goal total placed him amongst the top five forwards on the team? Surprise! It was Lewis. He finished with 92 shots, a number that was 10 shots higher than Mike Richards’ total and only six behind Anze Kopitar’s. Along with partner Jarret Stoll, he was reliable on the penalty kill and finally scored his first career shorthanded goal in a win over Colorado on February 23. His 15:12 career high in ice time marked the third consecutive year he increased his average time on ice. He accomplished all of this despite being placed mostly in the familiar defensive role that he has continued to succeed in. He can play all three forward positions.
Said Darryl Sutter on February 20:
He’s one of my favorites, so I want him to produce.
He also scored one of the more memorable goals in Kings history:
The bad: For all the shots he takes, Lewis has not yet proven himself to be a goal scorer. He has 12 goals on 314 shots in 203 career regular season games, which equates to a startlingly low 3.8 shooting percentage. And though he set career highs in goals and points last season, where exactly is his ceiling? Has the 26-year-old already hit it? The 2006 first round draft pick has begun to bloom somewhat late in his tenure in the Kings organization, so there’s still likely more room to grow even if he’s not likely to make a substantial leap past his current role.
Going forward: Lewis signed a one-year, 1.325 million dollar contract earlier in the week and will become an unrestricted free agent should he not come to an agreement on an extension prior to July 1, 2014. What happens in the interim will be among the more interesting developments of the upcoming season. Lewis is practically a lock to line up to Stoll’s right, but who will skate on the opposite side? Matt Frattin? Dwight King? Tyler Toffoli? It wouldn’t be a surprise at all to see Lewis significantly exceed his career high of 14 points, especially if Frattin or Toffoli lock in as the regular third line left wing. A longshot to make the Olympic team, he’s one of 48 players headed to Arlington, Va. in late August for USA Hockey’s orientation camp.