495643127RH00306_2014_NHL_SKYLE CLIFFORD
This season: 71 games, 3 goals, 5 assists, 8 points, 81 penalty minutes, +6 rating, 10:10 time on ice

The good: Kyle Clifford has been a King for four years and each year has led the team in penalty minutes. That shouldn’t necessarily fall under the “good” category, but it’s a place to start when evaluating the scrappy, tough, humble and competitive Clifford. His 2013-14 season was comparable to his previous three seasons with the club; at his best when forechecking effectively and adhering to a straightforward north-south game, he’s an energy-providing asset who has earned the respect of other players in similar roles around the league. Another player with an excellent work ethic who embodies the selfless aspect of the team’s character, Clifford has 276 NHL games and two Stanley Cups under his resume at the age of 23, and his seven points in 24 games this spring represented a solid performance during a more regular role than his injury-affected 2012 postseason. Like several teammates, he played his best hockey after returning from the Olympic break, even though his last regular season goal came on December 13. Clifford was very good in the Stanley Cup Final, totaling four points (1-3=4) against the Rangers and earning the second star in Game 1 with a one-goal, two-point performance, and is a player who averages more career points per playoff game (.3) than regular season game (.17). “Kyle played really well for us, not just because he scored, but he had a lot of energy for the game and played a really good role for us,” Darryl Sutter said about his Game 1 performance. He wasn’t among the team’s notable possession-driving players, though he wasn’t a possession drain, either, and finished with a 53.9% Corsi-for percentage that was higher than most of the other forwards he skated with. All in all, chalk it up to a Clifford-esque season for Kyle Clifford, who played his best hockey at the most important time of the year.

The bad: He’s not necessarily paid to score goals, but Clifford posted career-low numbers in goals, assists and points. After a 14-point, 48-game 2012-13 season (that stretches out to 24 points if applied over 82 games), he wasn’t able to sustain his scoring pace (or his shooting percentage) and finished with the fewest points out of any King who played more than 40 games. Clifford has taken only 287 career shots and hasn’t deviated from averaging just over one shot per game. He generally faced easier competition when compared to some of his teammates, and his minus-13 penalty differential was second worst amongst Los Angeles forwards.

Leon Halip / Getty Images Sport

Going forward: Kyle Clifford skipped a year of junior hockey and leapfrogged the American Hockey League to play a regular and useful checking line shift as a 19-year-old on an up-and-coming Los Angeles Kings team in 2010-11, and since then has more or less held court in the role as the Kings have won a pair of Stanley Cups. While there is still the possibility that Clifford could evolve into more of a secondary scorer – an 11-goal, 22-point season isn’t out of the question, is it? – he has for the most part been effective in his role as an energy forward and one of the league’s better upper-middleweight fighters. He’s versatile on the left side and despite his depth line gravitation has been a choice to fill in on first or second lines for the odd shift when needed, though with the emergence of fellow Barrie Colts alum Tanner Pearson, Clifford again appears to be a very firm candidate for a third or fourth line role in 2014-15. After undergoing wrist surgery in late June, he’s expected to be fully healthy at training camp. Clifford has one year remaining on a contract that carries a $1.075M cap hit before he hits restricted free agency on July 1, 2015.

2013 Clifford evaluation
2012 Clifford evaluation
2011 Clifford evaluation

495643127JH00040_2014_NHL_S

2014 Player Evaluations
#2 – MATT GREENE | #6 – JAKE MUZZIN | #8 – DREW DOUGHTY | #10 – MIKE RICHARDS | #11 – ANZE KOPITAR | #12 – MARIAN GABORIK


181113636RH00079_2014_Coors

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS