2024 Kings Seasons In Review – Trevor Lewis

Starting the individual forward articles with a look at Trevor Lewis.

Lewis returned to Los Angeles after several seasons away as a veteran on a league-minimum deal for a team that was tight against the cap. He filled a fourth-line role pretty effectively, as the numbers will show you below. A low-risk reunion that seemed to work for both sides, as Lewis played all 82 games in his return to the Kings.

Trevor Lewis
LAK Statline –82 games played, 8 goals, 8 assists, +7 rating, 20 penalty minutes
LAK Playoff Statline – 5 games played, 0 goals, 0 assists, -1 rating, 0 penalty minutes
NHL Possession Metrics (Relative To Kings) – CF% – 52.8% (-1.5%), SCF% – 50.1% (-4.1%), HDCF% – 50.4% (-3.5%)

Trending Up – This is going to look a lot like a segment of Blake Lizotte’s blurb the other day. And here’s why.

Lewis and Lizotte were above 58 percent in actual goal share when on the ice together. They ranked over 53 percent in all of Natural Stat Trick’s tracked underlying or possession-based metrics when playing together and below 50 percent when playing apart. The two spent almost their entire season on the fourth line and were rarely separated when both were in the lineup. For a one-year contract at the league minimum, Lewis was an effective complementary player to his most-regular linemate at 5-on-5.

Lewis was also a key part of the Kings’ enhanced penalty-killing performances this season. Among skaters to play at least 100 minutes on the penalty kill this season, Lewis ranked fourth in the entire NHL in terms of fewest goals against. That’s fourth out of 238 skaters. Lewis was a regular on the PK and, at times, the first option over the boards on the NHL’s second most successful unit. The Kings as a whole were one of the league’s best at killing penalties and Lewis was one of the best on the league’s best. Good stuff.

Look, I saw a lot of the Lewis conversation this season. And I honestly couldn’t understand any of it. He was brought back to be the team’s 12th forward. His usage was that of the team’s 12th forward (9:39 5-on-5 TOI per game, no Kings forward with more than 20 GP averaged fewer minutes). He killed penalties and he was one of the league’s best at not being on the ice for power-play goals against. He approached 10 goals while averaging less than 10 minutes at 5-on-5 per game and produced solid splits. All for $775,000. Not sure what more you could have really wanted from that position.

Trending Down – The other side of the coin, I suppose, is that with a player like Lewis where you know what you’re going to get, there is a lack of dynamic, offensive plays. Lewis ranked in the bottom-two among regular Kings forwards in on-ice scoring chances and high-danger chances on a per/60 basis. His individual numbers were more towards the center of the curve, but at both ends of the ice, Lewis was responsible and safe. Not a ton of Grade-A offensive chances coming there, in a low-event season, but not much against either. In today’s NHL, teams are getting more and more offense from the fourth line and although they were on the positive side of the ledger, it was the defense not the offense that delivered those results.

There’s also the playoffs. And, to repeat what I’ve written in a few of these, Lewis was on the penalty killing unit that gave up nine goals from five games. Lewis led all Kings PK’ers in shorthanded time on ice in the playoffs and was on the ice for three of those nine goals. The goals against up front were much more evenly distributed than on the backend, but in a series where special teams was the most notable deciding factor, that unit did not get the job done.

2024-25 Outlook– Lewis is an unrestricted free agent this summer, coming off the one-year contract he inked with the team last July 1.

I think Lewis will have a few options. He’s certainly towards the end of his playing career but he’s also 26 games away from 1,000 in the NHL. I’d imagine he will want to reach that mark. He deserves to reach that mark. An NHL franchise also just relocated to Lewis’ home state of Utah and being on that team could potentially be of interest to him. The Kings, though, were the team that drafted Lewis and there was an emotional component for he and his family in coming back. He filled the role he was signed to fill and is more than capable of filling it again next season, whether that be in Los Angeles, Utah or elsewhere.

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