Player evaluation: Muzzin - LA Kings Insider

This season: 45 games played, 7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points, 35 penalty minutes, plus-16

The good: Though the quality of his minutes later in his season declined from his exceptionally productive March, make no doubt about it: Jake Muzzin took an enormous step forward in his development and his attempt to cement himself as a versatile National Hockey League regular in 2013. Despite appearing in only 11 NHL games prior to the start of the season, Muzzin was a mainstay in the lineup from early February through Game 2 of the Chicago series and recorded 11 points (5-6=11) during a 13-game span from February 25 through March 19. He was named March’s Rookie of the Month and finished in eighth place in Calder Trophy voting, generating two second place votes. He tied for third place in scoring amongst rookie defensemen; his plus-16 rating led all rookie D and finished tied for eighth amongst all defensemen league-wide. Armed with a crisp, accurate wristshot and a potent, heavy slapshot, Muzzin was effective on the power play while also possessing a strong first pass on the breakout. Considering the injuries that depleted the blue line early in the season, Muzzin’s ability to step in and take advantage of his opportunity was among the most positive story lines of the 2012-13 season. He averaged 17 minutes and 53 seconds of ice time in the regular season, fifth amongst Kings defensemen.

-courtesy KingsVision

The bad: Once Robyn Regehr joined the team and was paired primarily with Drew Doughty, Muzzin’s production decreased. Though he gradually improved as the playoffs progressed, he struggled throughout much of the St. Louis series and experienced a hiccup or two against Chicago. He was sheltered at times during the season and was not at his most effective when seeing time against the opposition’s top players. There was the “road apples” evaluation of his play in a game in Anaheim in early February. Confidence appears to be a significant pillar of Muzzin’s overall game when he is at his best, and late in the season, there may have been bouts of trying to recapture it.

Said Darryl Sutter in mid-March:

“He’s got to be a great defender to play in the NHL. End of the day, bottom line. There are tendencies that other teams have in terms of their forecheck, and top players, and he’ll get it with experience and with better training and better preparation. But he’s got to listen. Otherwise, he won’t.”

Going forward: Muzzin stands 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. Considering the offensive attributes he exhibited in the lockout-shortened season, he could end up developing a fairly complete package if he’s able to soften out some defensive zone rough edges. There is a significant ceiling to his game, even if it will be a challenge to improve on the 82-game pace of his seven goals, which came alongside a 9.1 shooting percentage – the highest amongst Kings defensemen. He signed for two years and two million dollars earlier in July; if he’s able to build off his encouraging rookie season, there could be some major value in his contract. Of course, this is based on the projected improvements from his own zone, which will need to be the centerpiece of his focus heading into the 2013-14 season.

2011 Muzzin evaluation

2013 Player Evaluations
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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.