Kings season preview: Fiala added to mix of knowledgeable veterans, young corps

The 2022–23 NHL season begins on 7 October. With training camp opening soon, NHL.com is taking a look at the three keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and projected lineups for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Los Angeles Kings.

coach: Todd McClellan (4th season)

last season: 44-27-11, third in the Pacific Division; Lost to Edmonton Oilers in Western Conference First Round

3 keys

1. What’s next?

The Kings pushed the Edmonton Oilers into Game 7 of last season’s Western Conference First Round and have the ideal mix of youth and experience to develop this season. get ahead Kevin Fiala in a trade with the Minnesota Wild on June 29 and signing him to a seven-year contract gives Los Angeles a potential difference-maker; The 26-year-old had an NHL career-high 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) with Minnesota last season. Hopefully there are domestic possibilities too Adrian Kempe The 26-year-old forward may continue to break through the break after scoring an NHL career-high 35 goals last season.

2. Who’s Next?

Kempe, Arthur Kaliyev21, Rasmus Kupari22, and Quinton Byfield, 20, are part of a forward-looking core that will determine long-term success. Byfield, the number 2 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, enters his first full NHL season with a healthy and highest ceiling. He used the off-season to work on face-offs, meeting with his skating coach 2-3 times a week and having video calls with player development coach Jarrett Stoll to discuss defensive positions.

3. Old Guard

How long can captain anz copitaro35, Defense Personnel Drew Doughty32, and goalkeeper Jonathan Quick, 36, Postpone Father Time? Kopitar’s 67 points (19 goals, 48 ​​assists) was his highest since an NHL career-high of 92 (35 goals, 57 assists) in 2017-18. Enters final season of 10-year contract after early closure cal peterson With their best totals since the same season (23 wins, 2.59 against a goal-average, .910 saves). Doughty led the Kings defenseman with 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) and an average ice time of 25:44 despite being limited to 39 games. He had a knee injury, was in NHL COVID-19 protocol and did not play after March 7 due to a wrist injury that required surgery on April 11.

VIDEO: The NHL talks Adrian Kempe’s contract extension tonight

roster rundown

making cuts

will compete on the left side of the defense between Brandt Clark, sean walker, Tobias Bjornfoot And jordan spence, Walker is a wild card after undergoing surgery for a torn ACL and MCL six games last season. Any extra time he might need could create an opening for Clark, the 19-year-old who was selected with the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, or Spence, 21, who averaged 24 ice times in 19: 45 did. 18:01 in regular season games and three Stanley Cup playoff games.

most interesting addition

Fiala projects on the first-line right wing with Kopitar and Kempe; They finished the previous season with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists) in their last 41 games. For the season, Fiala had 17 power-play points (five goals, 12 assists) and should score a power-play lift to 27th in the NHL (16.1%).

biggest possible surprise

It’s easy to forget outside the organization alex turcotteKendra, a 21-year-old whose career has been interrupted by two concussions that kept her away from snow activities at the development camp. The No. 5 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft is on the roster for the Rookie Faceoff Prospect tournament starting Friday. Turcott is expected to play most of this season for Ontario in the American Hockey League. If he is healthy and has the game, he will have the eye of a player who can take the Kings down the stretch. He had 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 27 AHL games last season.

ready to break

Although Kaliyev had a promising rookie season on paper (27 points; 14 goals, 13 assists in 80 games), the numbers tally three goals in his last 26 regular-season games and no one with a minus-3 rating in seven playoff games. No points. he will be reunited with the center blake lizotte and play with the left wing alex iafalo on the third line. Their roof is in the top six.

fantasy sleeper

Trevor MooreLW/RW (Not average ready in fantasy) — Last season he had NHL career highs in points (48), goals (17), assists (31), plus/minus (plus-20) and shot on goal (202). Moore is third on the Kings on 5-on-5 points per 60 minutes (1.97) and is a hypothetical deep sleeper playing in their top-six forward group, which should be boosted by the acquisition of Fiala. – Anna Dua

Estimated Lineup

Adrian Kempe – Ange Kopitar – Kevin Fiala

Trevor Moore – Philippe Danault , Victor Arvidson

Alex Iafalo – Blake Lizzotte – Arthur Kaliyev

Gabriel Villardi –Quinton Byfield –Rasmus Kupri

Mickey Anderson — Drew Doughty

Tobias Björnft — Matt Roy

Alexander Adele , Shawn Durzic

Jonathan Quick

cal peterson

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