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LA Kings 2021 season preview

Dec. 18, 2020 at 9:27 p.m.
Brace for the Storm
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This is an interesting team. They have quite a few issues, being a rebuilding team but they're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm really high on Gabe Vilardi, I believe he is a sleeper candidate for the Calder, although the fact that LA's rebuilding could keep him from winning it.
Their G is very intriguing, Quick having lost quite a few steps since 17-18 but with Petersen who I think will be taking over as the starter by the end of this season.
The D is their weakness IMO. They have an ELITE number 1 in DD (and I'm willing to debate anyone on the fact that I believe he's still elite) yet they have no number 2 and 3. They have 3 number 4s in Maatta, Roy and Walker, which should/could create strong internal competition at camp. At F I believe Frk will continue establishing himself as a solid top niner while playing alongside Vilardi.

The x-factor in their case is youth consistency (known NYR legend Lias Andersson says «hey») as well as taking advantage of the lack of strength in their division.

Oh, one last thing: Byfield NEEDS TO MAKE THIS TEAM. Playing in a league without hitting would be very bad for his development

Here's how I'd build the lineup:




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ZiggyPalffy liked this.
Dec. 18, 2020 at 9:45 p.m.
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Love this! It's nice seeing other team's fans taking interest in our team.

That is an accurate assessment for sure.

I think our blueline will surprise a lot of people, including us Kings fans. Now that Doughty has a somewhat competent D partner and Kings are taking another step forward there will be no excuses for Doughty and you will see him leap back to his old self within the next 2 seasons. Walker would have gotten 30 points had the season not ended. I think he will have a breakout year(if you don't consider last season a breakout year for him) Roy is definitely our most overrated player thanks to Leafs fans and analytics nerds, he was absolutely great for his role 3RD and did great filling in at 2RD, he isn't a good top 4 option long term though. My best comparison for Roy is Alec Martinez, solid in the top 4, but we'llbe better off keeping him on the 3rd pair for outstanding depth. He will see some 2RD time, but I think Walker deserves that spot more. I don't know enough about Maatta and personally would have rather signed Chara so all I can do is hope for the best. Clague and MacDermid will share the LD spot on the 3rd pair.

To my knowledge, Byfield will be on the Kings after World Juniors. I agree, he shouldn't go back to the OHL. He will have a good RW and mentor to play with in Carter, however, I don't expect him to blow anyone away since he'll be 3C with Carter and Grundstrom probably😬

I think Vilardi will be a Calder candidate and future 80 point center, so like you, I'm very high on him as well.

I believe Andersson will be in the SHL for the season.

I'm hoping the Kings don't do so well so we can contend for another lottery pick and hopefully get Brandt Clarke. I'm not really sold on Grans or Faber becoming 2RD/1RDs.

I think in 2021-22, Petersen will be the starter. Not sure if he'll get the opportunity to steal Quicks job this season where there won't be many games to play.
EsoYeezus69 liked this.
Dec. 19, 2020 at 12:26 a.m.
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Edited Dec. 19, 2020 at 3:40 a.m.
The Kings future is bright, but they're not there yet. I think they have most, if not all the pieces to become a contender again, but they're all still making their way up through the developmental leagues.

I don't disagree with any particular point you made, although I agree with @ZiggyPalffy that I don't think Petersen takes the reins from Quick just yet. Quick's play hasn't dropped off as much as everyone suggests. He had an abysmal start to the 2019-20 season, but after Christmas, he put up some stellar numbers with a 2.27 GAA and a .923 SV%. I think Petersen has the tools to be the goaltender of the future of the Kings, but I suspect we see Quick as the starter this coming season, split time in 2021-22, and Petersen taking over the starting job in 2022-23.

The nice part about the Kings depth and roster situation is that they will be able to use their expendable assets to acquire pieces to fill gaps. They're not doing it now due to the impending expansion draft, but once that passes, they will be in a position where they will be able to trade some of their numerous assets to acquire quality pieces. The biggest areas of concern are top six wing and 1LD at the moment, but both of those should be easy enough to fill through a combination of weaponizing their cap space and moving a quality center prospect or two.

Last I heard about the OHL is that they're currently working with the provincial government of Ontario to come up with alternative options to the non-checking rule. I honestly think that they would work out a way to play their games outside of Ontario before they put on a league with no body checking. I don't think that's really going to happen. Assuming there is a season which includes body-checking, I think we see Byfield play in the OHL. He might get his 9 games (or 6 games if it's pro-rated) on the Kings without burning a year of his ELC, but I don't think the Kings will keep him up for the season.

I do think the Kings will do better than they did last season, but I don't think they'll be a playoff threat. 80ish points and 6th/7th in the division seems reasonable.
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