This season: 65 games, 3 goals, 10 assists, 13 points, 30 penalty minutes, +1 rating, -0.8 CF%Rel, .995 PDO, 15:39 time on ice
The good: Signed to a one-year, $850,000 contract, the Kings got their money’s worth out of Folin, who provided hard minutes on the right side of the defense and appeared in 39 of the team’s final 41 games of the season and all four playoff games. His work ethic and willingness to battle and throw his body in front of pucks were efforts that aligned well with the team’s, and he seemed to have a good handle of his identity, per John Stevens. “He’s a good, physical, hard-to-play-against defender, and he makes simple decisions with the puck. He’s got good skills. He skates well, he’s well trained, he moves the puck well, first-pass, he can kill penalties and he can defend against top guys, so he gives us some real quality minutes, especially when you’re on the road.”
The bad: Not a ton. Folin’s metrics were all very much down the middle. He played the most games out of any season in his career and did so with a selfless, blue collar mentality. He missed six games with an upper-body injury midway through the season and was yielding scoring chances in the playoffs, where he was on the ice for four goals against and none for in four games.
Going forward: More of a Plan C than a Plan B leading up to July 1, the Kings passed on Folin, even at a marginally discounted rate. Folin opted for a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Flyers and will battle to earn a similar role in Philadelphia. His name came up in trade discussions late last season as the Kings considered a move similar to the Darcy Kuemper/Tobias Rieder swap in which the team tried to recoup either an asset or another rental for a player who was unlikely to re-sign.
This season: 49 games, 4 goals, 11 assists, 15 points, 12 penalty minutes, -4 rating, +3.4 CF%Rel, .982 PDO, 14:34 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 64 games, 5 goals, 14 assists, 19 points, 16 penalty minutes, -3 rating, +2.8 CF%Rel, .981 PDO, 14:10 time on ice (overall)
The good: Nick Shore was up to his usual Nick Shore bag o’ tricks before his mid-February trade to Ottawa. He laughed at your zone starts. “Oh, the lowest percentage of offensive zone starts on the team?” he asked. (He didn’t really ask this.) “Why, I’ll just post the third-best raw Corsi-for on the team and a 3.4% CF%Rel.” (CF%Rel is not actually a word.) Shore was and is a perfectly serviceable fourth line center who can kill penalties, commit to checking and aid in the overall team game. He’s not overly physical, and he’s probably not going to get you 20 points, but he’s consistently been a smart, possessionally sound, well-positioned player with good awareness throughout all 200 feet.
The bad: Shore was traded to Calgary after six games in Ottawa and posted one goal and three points in nine games. Though he averaged over 15 minutes a night late in the season, the Flames did not extend him a qualifying offer. He was on pace to reach or break career-highs in goals, assists and points with the Kings but failed to generate any lasting chemistry with his new teams that would have more firmly entrenched him in their plans. While in Los Angeles, his 48.1% faceoff percentage curiously dropped from the typically strong, plus-50% rates he produced in his first three seasons.
Going forward: As of today, Nick Shore is unsigned. “WHY IS NICK SHORE UNSIGNED,” I yell into the void. No one answers. A distant wind howls.
This season: 30 games, 7 goals, 7 assists, 14 points, 18 penalty minutes, +9 rating, -0.9 CF%Rel, 1.048 PDO, 14:19 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 46 games, 11 goals, 10 assists, 21 points, 24 penalty minutes, +2 rating, -0.4 CF%Rel, 1.010 PDO, 13:58 time on ice (overall)
The good: The Ferrari spent the first month and a half of the season in the shop as he attempted to rebound from a “more in-depth medical procedure for a chronic issue related to his left knee” last spring but broke out with two goals and four points in his first four games while putting defenses on their heels with some quality zone entries. Boosted by some friendly starts, Noted Defensive Wizard Marian Gaborik maintained an impressive 1.01 GA/60 over his 30 games and was even-or-better in his final 18 games with the club. He played his 1,000th NHL game on December 15 and concluded his Kings tenure with 61 goals and 120 points in 228 games.
The bad: In the two weeks prior to his trade to Ottawa, Gaborik took three shots in five games, one of which he logged only 7:35 in. Something had to give: Gaborik had racked up only one assist in his final 12 games with the club, a span in which he was held out of the lineup four times. The end of the Gaborik Era was a far cry from those 2014 highs. Oh, those 2014 highs.
Going forward: Gaborik is a Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings, and what he did four years ago should never be understated. Kings fans are free to reference him with starry eyes for his 14 goals in 26 games during that marathon, and Dean Lombardi deserves tremendous credit for pulling off a trade for a principal impact player at low cost when other players were available. Rob Blake also deserves recognition for being able to move Gaborik’s contract, of which three years and a $4.875-million cap hit remain. Gaborik underwent back surgery to repair a herniated disc in April. His status to begin the 2018-19 season in Ottawa is unclear.
This season: 49 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, 28 penalty minutes, -5 rating, -3.1 CF%Rel, .979 PDO, 11:53 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 60 games, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, 30 penalty minutes, -5 rating, -2.7 CF%Rel, .980 PDO, 11:24 time on ice (overall)
The good: The Kings were looking for sturdier checking and more versatile minutes from their fourth line center and in late November opted to trade for Torrey Mitchell, a familiar defensive-minded forward who skates well. Mitchell produced at a perfectly acceptable rate for a depth player, and the spreadsheets say he did a good job in match-ups against other depth lines in the playoffs. He was a familiar defensive stopper who received tough starts in line with the Nate Thompsons and Nick Shores of the world.
The bad: Not a ton. Once his visa situation was worked out and he killed off the entire series of Billions, Mitchell was, for the most part, a mainstay in the team’s lineup before he was due for some maintenance late in the season. He received mostly consistent penalty killing time and was a reliable defensive cog in a machine that won the Jennings Trophy.
Going forward: Mitchell signed a one-year contract with NLA-Lausanne in July. If this is the end of his NHL road, he totaled 67 goals, 85 assists and 152 points in 666 games with the Sharks, Wild, Sabres, Canadiens and Kings.
This season: 45 games, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, 50 penalty minutes, -6 rating, -4.1 CF%Rel, .988 PDO, 9:23 time on ice
The good: As he had for much of his Kings career, the fearless Andy Andreoff got his nose dirty while on the forecheck, in pursuit, making hits and squaring off against the opposition’s toughest players. He was most at home in the raised emotion and physicality of Pacific Division games and was a quality option when the Kings were looking for a grind-it-out effort to reset their game while in a rut. He played honestly, backed by the utmost respect and appreciation from his teammates and formed chemistry with Torrey Mitchell and Jonny Brodzinski while contributing in several important second half-wins.
The bad: Andreoff is not a highly skilled player, and his numbers and usage reflect that. He’s not a play-driver, but in 2017-18 the ice was tilted against him to a greater degree than it was previously. In the larger scheme, he wasn’t able to capitalize on his 60-game, eight-goal 2015-16 season and appeared in 81 games over the last two years combined. Andreoff understood his role, though, and was respected for the work ethic he brought to it. This has been said in previous evaluations, but there’s still a little bit of unearthed skill in his game that was apparent in practice.
Going forward: There wasn’t going to be a spot for Andreoff on this year’s club, so the Kings arranged a trade in which Andreoff was sent to Tampa Bay for Peter Budaj, who will back up Cal Petersen in Ontario. Andreoff could see early opportunity with Ryan Callahan sidelined but will compete against a pool of prospects on the cusp of more regular NHL playing time in Mitchell Stephens, Alex Volkov and Mathieu Joseph.
This season: 35 games, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, 6 penalty minutes, +4 rating, -5.4 CF%Rel, 1.030 PDO, 9:30 time on ice
The good: Jonny Brodzinski grabbed hold of a wider role and was able to parlay it into some offense midway through the season. With 9.33 shots per 60 minutes of 5×5 play, he ranked second on the team in pro-rated shot generation behind Tyler Toffoli. “I think we as a staff are really starting to trust him and we think he can score,” John Stevens said during Brodzinski’s run of mid-February production. “He has good speed and quickness. He’s got a great shot and he has a really quick release. He has scored at every level he’s been at and was a 20-goal scorer every year in college, which is hard to do, so we’re happy to see him create some offense for us.”
The bad: Brodzinski turned 25 this summer, so if there’s some sharp upside in his production at the NHL level, he’s going to have to start showing it pretty soon. Brodzinski can skate and should be equipped to keep up with the pace in the NHL but struggled territorially in 2017-18.
Going forward: Brodzinski’s shot is clearly his best asset, and in 2018-19 he’ll look to put himself in better position in the offensive zone to unleash it. He’ll also have to make the team first, and will compete against a mix of players like Michael Amadio, Gabriel Vilardi and Sheldon Rempal up front. This is going to be a telling year in the career of a player who has nothing left to prove at the AHL level but hasn’t yet shown he can hold his own above water in the NHL. There’s also a bit of a Catch-22: Brodzinski is a pure goal scorer who will have to prove he can contribute with less skilled linemates, and as such, will need to continue to strengthen his play without the puck to become an everyday player. He took some strides in doing so last season, sporting an on-ice 5×5 save percentage of .945. Brodzinski has one season remaining on a two-year contract that carries the league minimum $650,000 AAV. It’s show-me time for Brodzinski, who’ll battle for minutes on a team looking for younger, less expensive players to entrench themselves in future plans alongside the expensive, aging core. He’s no longer waiver exempt, so other teams will have the opportunity to claim him if he doesn’t earn his spot out of camp.
This season: 34 games, 1 goals, 3 assists, 4 points, 57 penalty minutes, -4 rating, -7.0 CF%Rel, 1.000 PDO, 11:36 time on ice
The good: Kurtis MacDermid has been commended for his approach to the game, his focus to learn and get better and for being a good teammate willing to go to great lengths to stick up for his peers. He did so hungrily and honestly in 2017-18, and hey! He scored a goal on Carey Price in the process. Even as a rookie, MacDermid was a willing heavyweight combatant and showed good technique. But the number of pure enforcers in the league has drastically been reduced in recent years, and MacDermid understood that he’d have to make improvements in defending, getting to pucks and winning battles to find success at the NHL. “He needs to be able to get back to pucks and move pucks quickly, which he’s done a good job of, and then he’s got to be able to defend with a good stick and close plays out and get plays stopped and get pucks moving,” John Stevens said prior to the season. “He’s got no problem keeping up. I think his pace continues to get better, and those are the things we’re looking to continue to get from him.”
The bad: Though he showed an ability to make plays and improve his pace, MacDermid is limited by his skating, and at the time of his mid-January assignment to Ontario, was in a little bit of a defensive rut. He was a minus-seven in his seven games prior to his assignment and didn’t play an NHL game after January 15.
Going forward: After moving past Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Dion Phaneuf, Alec Martinez, Derek Forbort and Paul LaDue, it’s essentially Oscar Fantenberg, Daniel Brickley and MacDermid battling for one or two extra defensive roster spots. Brickley wouldn’t have to clear waivers to be assigned to Ontario, while Fantenberg and MacDermid would. MacDermid signed a two-year, two-way, $675,000 contract in July, and in the past, Los Angeles has perhaps had some success discouraging waiver wire activity by adding that second year. But there is still a place for pure, beautiful physicality in the game, not to mention stout defensive play, and the entire development staff and front office is very proud of the work MacDermid has put in since he was signed in September, 2012.
This season: 20 games, 4 goals, 2 assists, 6 points, 0 penalty minutes, -1 rating, -1.1 CF%Rel, .989 PDO, 12:50 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 78 games, 12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points, 6 penalty minutes, -12 rating, -2.5 CF%Rel, .998 PDO, 14:39 time on ice (overall)
The good: Acquired with Scott Wedgewood in advance of the trade deadline for Darcy Kuemper, Rieder used his speed along the wing to back off defenses and was a “good team player” when asked to switch from the left side to the right. (He was more frequently used on the left but did appear to generate some pretty good chemistry when used alongside Tanner Pearson and Jeff Carter. He potted two goals in the statement 7-1 win at Colorado on March 22 but was held scoreless in 15 of his 20 games in Los Angeles. Still, his .96 5×5 goals per 60 minutes ranked second on the team.
The bad: Before his two-goal game against the Avs, Rieder had been held without a point in his previous 10, a stretch that also included two straight games in which he was healthy but didn’t dress. Not that Jonny Brodzinski, Torrey Mitchell and Andy Andreoff were en route to becoming Brian Trottier, Clark Gillies and Mike Bossy, but the Rieder acquisition did put an end to that line right as it had found its stride. The Brodzinski-Mitchell-Andreoff trio had accounted for a combined six goals and 12 points in the eight games immediately preceding the trade; after the trade, Brodzinski was assigned to Ontario, Andreoff was held out of the lineup for 11 straight, and Mitchell accounted for the group’s one point, a goal, over his final 17 games of the season.
Going forward: The Kings chose not to qualify Rieder at $2.45-million, so the 25-year-old became a free agent and extended his Pacific Division stay with a one-year, $2-million contract with Edmonton after 319 games with Arizona and Los Angeles. The Kings were in a bit of a “holding pattern” with Rieder and wanted to see how they stacked up personnel-wise after the player movement surrounding the NHL Draft, where they hit their big free agent acquisition in Ilya Kovalchuk.
This season: 18 games, 1 goals, 4 assists, 5 points, 4 penalty minutes, 0 rating, -3.9 CF%Rel, .994 PDO, 11:15 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 60 games, 5 goals, 12 assists, 17 points, 12 penalty minutes, +2 rating, +0.1 CF%Rel, .991 PDO, 11:35 time on ice (overall)
The good: Jussi Jokinen was given fair zone starts and competition and turned in a mostly effective 18 games as the Kings’ Swiss Army knife, accounting for a game-winning goal at Washington in November and otherwise sturdy if unspectacular play as a versatile depth forward. It wasn’t a particularly ceremonial final NHL season for Jokinen, though it was fitting: Jokinen, who had previously played for Dallas, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Pittsburgh and Florida, signed with Edmonton, was traded to Los Angeles, claimed on waivers by Columbus and traded just before the deadline to Vancouver. He was trustworthy on the penalty kill and more equipped to handle a bottom-six role than trade partner Michael Cammalleri.
The bad: Tied for 10th all time in shootout attempts and 12th in shootout goals, Jokinen failed to score on his only attempt with Los Angeles on November 25. (The Kings would go on to beat the Ducks, 2-1.)
Going forward: 49 games away from his silver stick, Jokinen isn’t shuffling quietly towards that soft Finnish moonlight. He’s skating in South Florida with other NHL pros as he awaits word on tryout and contract opportunities. In 951 NHL games, Jokinen has 191 goals, 372 assists and 563 points.
This season: 16 games, 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 points, 12 penalty minutes, -3 rating, -2.3 CF%Rel, .948 PDO, 7:57 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 56 games, 3 goals, 1 assists, 4 points, 28 penalty minutes, -10 rating, -1.5 CF%Rel, .964 PDO, 10:32 time on ice (overall)
The good: Not a ton. It was a rough year for Dowd, who cracked 10 minutes in only one of 16 games with Los Angeles and was traded to Vancouver as the team settled on alternate depth center options. As always, the intelligent Dowd was an engaging and approachable figure, but for the Kings in 2017-18, his work ethic and hustle didn’t lead to production or a more entrenched role in the lineup. He was, however, strong at the faceoff dot for both the Kings (51.9%) and Canucks (50.9%).
The bad: Dowd was unable to maintain his hold on a roster spot and was challenged in parlaying a somewhat promising first season towards a fruitful sophomore campaign. A capable playmaker, Dowd’s skill did not beget actual offense while in Los Angeles and Vancouver, while his combined possession rates dropped from a high perch to well in the red. That he was used at wing during the preseason wasn’t necessarily a good omen for his 2017-18 fortunes. “You want to be playing,” Dowd said in late October. “It’s my responsibility, and I think it’s something where I think every mistake is amplified in my mind because you obviously want to do everything you can to continue to play well and stay in the lineup. I think I also can’t be hesitant to make plays and hesitant to make mistakes because it’s going to happen, but I think that I can create enough where the positives are going to outweigh some of the stuff that happens.”
Going forward: After the Kings acquired Torrey Mitchell, Dowd was traded to the Canucks for AHL defenseman Jordan Subban. “Great kid,” John Stevens said. “He went through the process, went to the minors, became a really good player down there, won a championship there and made the step to the National Hockey League, so we loved having him in the organization. Really good kid, works hard, a good teammate, and he was a good kid to have around.” In 91 games with Los Angeles, Dowd totaled six goals and 23 points. Other players to record 23 points in their Kings tenures are Lucien Grenier (129 GP; 12-11=23) and Lonnie Loach (50 GP; 10-13=23). Dowd signed a one-year contract with Washington and will compete for a fourth line center role in training camp.
Dowd evaluation: 2017
This season: 16 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 2 penalty minutes, -3 rating, -6.3 CF%Rel, .987 PDO, 14:02 time on ice
The good: The fact that Kevin Gravel was able to play at all in 2017-18 is a testament to a tremendous amount of work put in after a debilitating but treatable Crohn’s disease diagnosis he received late last summer. Gravel had been penciled towards Los Angeles to begin the year but over a short period of time – he lost 20 pounds over the span of three days – had to do a complete pivot in his preparation in the name of rehabilitation, health and well-being. Gravel opened the year with Ontario and played his way back to L.A., and again, there was a great deal of commitment and weight room work required to allow the 6-foot-4, 212-pound defenseman to feel comfortable in all hockey situations again.
The bad: Gravel sat for 24 straight in the second half, and his game wasn’t at its apex when he was needed late in the season. He contributed in a pair of important home wins over Minnesota and Arizona but struggled when pressed into action for the Game 2 loss at Vegas, when he was victimized on the Alex Tuch and Erik Haula goals.
Going forward: Another 2015 Calder Cup champ to depart over the off-season, Gravel signed a one-year, two-way contract with Edmonton and will battle to become the Oilers’ sixth or seventh defenseman. Should he not make the club, he’s no longer waiver-exempt and, were he to clear, would be eligible to be assigned to AHL-Bakersfield, where he’d earn $300,000, per Cap Friendly. In 70 games with Los Angeles, Gravel, a 2010 fifth round draft pick who played the 2014-15 Manchester season under an AHL contract before signing his first ELC, totaled one goal and 10 points.
Gravel evaluation: 2017
This season: 15 games, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, 4 penalty minutes, +1 rating, -8.3 CF%Rel, 1.024 PDO, 12:38 time on ice (with Los Angeles); 66 games, 7 goals, 22 assists, 29 points, 18 penalty minutes, -3 rating, -2.7 CF%Rel, .993 PDO, 13:46 time on ice (overall)
The good: Michael Cammalleri scored two power play goals as part of three total goals in his 24 shots in a Kings uniform. He added another veteran presence and some needed skill to the dressing room at the start of the season and received some challenging defensive zone starts against tough competition. “Mike’s always been a scoring player and he’s a veteran guy that’s got lots of experience playing for different teams, different styles and different coaches, and I think he’s done a really good job of adapting his game how to play with what the team asked him to do, but at the same time can play to his strengths, and I think he’s done a good job of that,” Stevens said in early November.
The bad: Because Alex Iafallo was immediately ascended to provide quality minutes alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, Cammalleri was put in a situation in which he wasn’t playing the role he expected to play when he signed with the club over the summer. He was pushed down the lineup and played primarily alongside forwards such as Trevor Lewis, Brooks Laich and Adrian Kempe. Nearly 900 games into his career, Cammalleri desired the opportunity to play a wider role more suited towards his offensive talents, and the Kings facilitated a trade in which he was sent to Edmonton in exchange for Jussi Jokinen.
Going forward: Cammalleri is an unrestricted free agent. In 906 NHL games, the first of the Kings’ two 2001 second round draft picks – Jaroslav Bednar is the other – has racked up 294 goals, 348 assists and 642 points.
Cammalleri evaluation: 2008
This season: 12 games, 3 goals, 1 assists, 4 points, 6 penalty minutes, +5 rating, +7.3 CF%Rel, 1.070 PDO, 13:58 time on ice
The good: LaDue lived up to his offensive reputation in his limited time in 2017-18, scoring three times in 12 games while posting a .77 G/60 in a limited sample. He did this as he received favorable starts and competition and pushed play towards the attacking end to a greater degree than any King, regardless of sample size. He’s got a good wristshot from distance and gets pucks to the net, and was one of the team’s three goal scorers in the first round series defeat to Vegas. He finished +45 in on-ice shot attempts for/against, +6 in goals for/against, +24 in chances for/against and +7 in high danger chances for/against, according to Natural Stat Trick.
The bad: LaDue is not overly physical and can get beat in one-on-one defending, though he has a good stick. He’s also 26 years old, so he’s not exactly a newborn baby fawn just straightening his legs for the first time. LaDue’s ceiling remains unclear.
Going forward: Here’s LaDue’s opportunity. “I think Paul LaDue deserves a chance to play regular here. He’s earned that last year stepping in and out of the lineup there,” Rob Blake said early in the off-season. He’s no longer waiver exempt and will make the team barring any sort of injury or disaster, having signed a two-year, $1.65-million contract as an RFA in July. Any potential to lessen the load on Drew Doughty will be explored, and as a right-handed shooter, LaDue will be given every opportunity to earn a wide role. A notable development on the team’s blue line in recent years was Derek Forbort’s ability to jump from 14 to 82 games between his 23 and 24-year-old seasons. If LaDue can make a sizable jump and remain an effective player in the lineup, he’ll provide a valuable dividend for a team that will benefit from another member of its young(-ish) wave of defenseman earning a more regular role. Beyond Drew Doughty (29 in December), Jake Muzzin (29) and Alec Martinez (31), Los Angeles will need to continue to replenish the defense with Daniel Brickley, Kale Clague and the like, and LaDue’s fortunes will have a good deal of say in the reinforcement of that bridge.
This season: 12 games, 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 points, 6 penalty minutes, -5 rating, -8.1 CF%Rel, .942 PDO, 11:12 time on ice
The good: The LA Kings season had the potential to be derailed by Jeff Carter’s early-season injury, and though Brooks Laich didn’t have the same productive impact as, say, Adrian Kempe, he represented part of the solution as a tenured veteran whose presence in the immediate aftermath of the injury afforded the team a few extra deep breaths as it attacked a wide swath of the schedule without its number two center. Laich had already been skating with the team – he also buried a preseason overtime game-winner off a nice hustle play by #78 Alex Iafallo – as part of a fortuitous arrangement that benefited both player and team. The Kings were 6-5-1 over the 12 consecutive games Laich was in the lineup, a stretch that included a productive Atlantic Division road trip and the temporary skids that followed the club upon its return home. Los Angeles did not yield a goal over the nearly 17 minutes he spent in 4×5 shorthanded play.
The bad: The Kings made adjustments to their center depth on the fly with Carter out, and along with the conclusion of Laich’s 12 games with the team, Michael Amadio was assigned to Ontario, Jussi Jokinen was acquired from Edmonton, Torrey Mitchell was acquired from Montreal and Nic Dowd was traded to Vancouver. Laich wasn’t particularly “lucky;” his .941 PDO was the fourth-lowest out of any player with a minimum 10 games with the team since 2007-08. This was largely influenced by the seven goals scored against the Kings over his 114 minutes of five-on-five time.
Going forward: Laich was placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a mutual contract termination shortly after Mitchell’s acquisition. More important than his statistics, and assuming this is the end of the line for the 35-year-old, Laich ends his career on more favorable terms than those including an injury-marred AHL season while under contract to Toronto one year prior. In 776 NHL games, he totaled 134 goals, 198 assists and 332 points.
This season: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 0 penalty minutes, -1 rating, -24.1 CF%Rel, .909 PDO, 8:00 time on ice
The good: Auger, the AHL Reign’s all-time leader in games played, got into two games in the 2017-18 season, totaling 15:59 of ice time in wins over Montreal and Columbus. Similar to Andrew Crescenzi’s promotion, it was a classy move by the organization to reward Auger for his work by promoting him to the parent club when other options were also available.
The bad: At the AHL level, Auger wasn’t able to capitalize on his 19-goal, 36-point season in 2015-16 and posted back-to-back 11-goal seasons in Ontario.
Going forward: The 24-year-old was not tendered a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent. As of Wednesday, the 2015 Calder Cup champion hadn’t signed with a team.
This season: 2 games, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, 2 penalty minutes, 0 rating, -32.9 CF%Rel, 1.000 PDO, 7:52 time on ice
The good: Noted defensive stopper and highly regarded teammate Andrew Crescenzi got into his first two NHL games in 2017-18, an impressive accomplishment for the player who spent 23 ECHL games with the San Francisco Bulls in 2012-13. The 2015 Calder Cup champion set AHL career-highs in goals (12) and points (24).
The bad: Again, it’s a classy move by the organization to reward players like Crescenzi and Justin Auger, who earned the right to wear NHL jerseys during a first half in which the team dealt with injuries to key players and were looking for internal options to distribute minutes. Unfortunately, Crescenzi was whistled for a high stick in his second game with the club, which precipitated a third period Sven Baertschi game-winning power play goal.
Going forward: Crescenzi signed a one-year contract with the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga’s (Austria) Italian outfit, HC Bolzano. He’ll compete against fellow alum Dwight King, who signed with the EBEL’s Graz 99ers.
This season: 1 games, 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 point, 0 penalty minutes, +1 rating, +7.9 CF%Rel, 1.500 PDO, 10:48 time on ice
The good: In a special, late-season moment, Daniel Brickley made his NHL debut shortly after signing his entry-level contract out of Minnesota State-Mankato, and in front of his family recorded an assist on a Toby Rieder goal on a night Dustin Brown scored four times in an important late-season win. “I think the whole feel of Los Angeles and the Kings organization was just the perfect fit for me,” he said in April.
The bad: His flight into LAX landed SEVEN MINUTES LATE.
Going forward: Luc Robitaille and Rob Blake have done a good job supplementing the team’s prospect pool with a handful of intriguing free agent signings out of NCAA hockey. As has been stated, the Kings would greatly benefit to pepper some of its younger, less expensive players around its established stars, but it’s not year clear, without the benefit of training camp, where exactly we stand with Brickley, who has played one game professionally. He doesn’t require waivers to be assigned to Ontario, so there’s a real chance he could end up there to begin the year and, with the affiliate so close, be shuttled back and forth during any lulls in his playing time with the big club. But the Kings have a very interesting defenseman in Brickley, who boasts a good mix of skating, puck-moving and size. “I think his biggest asset, based on what I’ve seen, and I’ve watched some of his games, is he’s got some really good deception and escapability in his game,” Stevens said. “It’s going back for retrievals and some transition, and that’s on the offensive blue line. He moves well for a big kid, and he moves the puck when he should. There’s a guy open, he gets up to the forwards right away. He’s more of a join-not-lead [ed: the rush] type of player, but a very efficient puck-mover, I think.”
Player evaluations: #3 DION PHANEUF | #6 JAKE MUZZIN | #7 OSCAR FANTENBERG | #8 DREW DOUGHTY | #9 ADRIAN KEMPE | #11 ANZE KOPITAR | #13 KYLE CLIFFORD | #19 ALEX IAFALLO | #22 TREVOR LEWIS | #23 DUSTIN BROWN | #24 DEREK FORBORT | #27 ALEC MARTINEZ | #32 JONATHAN QUICK | #44 NATE THOMPSON | #52 MICHAEL AMADIO | #70 TANNER PEARSON | #73 TYLER TOFFOLI | #77 JEFF CARTER | KUEMPER / CAMPBELL | THE OTHERS
-Advanced stats via Natural Stat Trick, Corsica Hockey, Hockey-Reference
-Lead photo via Glenn James/NHLI