The Los Angeles Kings are not built like the Vegas Golden Knights when it comes to forwards. Vegas has a top six that generate much of the offense for the team and they rely on the bottom six to keep the pace of the game high, create chances, and wear down opponents. The Golden Knights are at their best when all 12 forwards are active in the game, allowing them to come in waves at the opposing team.
The Kings are much different. Instead, the Kings have three elite players that carry a majority of the load, they have a little group of offensive-minded players that chip in by essentially complimenting the stars, and they fill the rest of their roster with role players. Some are defensive-oriented, others are there to win face-offs, then there are the grit and toughness guys, but all are mainly specialists.
So, I sat down with friend of the site and host of the official podcast of the LA Kings, All The Kings Men, Jesse Cohen, to figure out, who exactly are these guys and what do they do best?
Anze Kopitar – Hart-trophy winning defensive forward who just flat out does everything well.
Jeff Carter – playmaker that is dangerous every second he’s in the game. He scores, he creates chances for others, he’s an elite skater, he wins face-offs, he’s simply an offensive weapon.
Dustin Brown – Having a tremendous offensive year and tends to be a player that imposes his will all over the ice while having the skill set to finish chances when they arise.
Adrian Kempe – Has a dangerous wrist shot from 30 feet out but seems to rely on it heavily. When his game is activated and he’s in on the forecheck he’s a disruptive and dangerous offensive weapon. When it’s not he has a tendency to disappear and rely on his skating and shooting. High ceiling, middle output.
Tobias Reider – Speed to burn with offensive upside that has still yet to fully develop. Can move the puck and his feet quickly.
Trevor Lewis – Defensive specialist having a career year offensively. Penalty killer that can play center or wing but it mostly deployed at wing.
Tanner Pearson – Swiss Army knife. Fast. Soft hands. Good shot. Has added net-front game to his repertoire and excels at it. Has been able to turn a series around in the past with his skating. Keeps the play alive with speed and tenacity on the forecheck.
Tyler Toffoli – Goal scorer with a deceptively strong defensive stick. Deceptively good along the boards and winning puck battles. Streaky offensive output but can be one of the most dangerous offensive weapons when on his game.
Kyle Clifford – Has the ability to create offense out of forechecking, but he’s mostly known as a bit of an agitator.
Alex Iaffolo – Grinder who creates space in the corners, digs out loose pucks and facilitates Brown and Kopitar. His defensive strength is creating a forecheck and making it difficult for
Nate Thompson – Fast skater, good at face-offs and he’ll get in your fact. Grit guy.
Michael Amadio – Somewhat similar style to Trevor Lewis. Relatively responsible and can shoot the puck but not going to blow you away. Still rather unproven.
Andy Andreoff – Has at times shown an offensive touch but needs to show a bit more composure and spend less time in the penalty box to be effective.
Johnny Brodzinski – A “what if” type player that has never quite put everything together. Good size, solid skater, okay shot, but nothing special in any category. Has the talent to be a dangerous player but hasn’t shown it yet.
Torrey Mitchell – Fast skater in a relatively small frame. Capable of playing center and wing. Defensive oriented forward who brings a veteran presence.
Jesse Cohen’s Projected Lineup
**Huge thank you to Jesse Cohen for working with me to make this post a reality.**