Kings season preview: Fiala added to mix of savvy veterans, youthful core

The 2022-23 NHL season begins Oct. 7. With coaching camps opening quickly, NHL.com is looking on the three keys, the within scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for every of the 32 groups. Today, the Los Angeles Kings.

Coach: Todd McLellan (fourth season)

Last season: 44-27-11, third in Pacific Division; misplaced to Edmonton Oilers in Western Conference First Round

3 KEYS

1. What’s subsequent?

The Kings are energized after pushing the Edmonton Oilers to Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round final season and have the best mix of youth and expertise to evolve this season. Acquiring ahead Kevin Fiala in a commerce with the Minnesota Wild on June 29 and signing him to a seven-year contract provides Los Angeles a possible difference-maker; the 26-year-old had an NHL career-high 85 factors (33 targets, 52 assists) with Minnesota final season. There’s additionally hope homegrown prospect Adrian Kempe can proceed to break by way of after the 26-year-old ahead scored an NHL career-high 35 targets final season.

2. Who’s subsequent?

Kempe, Arthur Kaliyev21, Rasmus Kupari22, and Quinton Byfield, 20, are half of a ahead core that may decide long-term success. Byfield, the no. 2 choose within the 2020 NHL Draft, enters his first full NHL season wholesome and with the best ceiling. He used the offseason to work on face-offs, met together with his skating coach 2-3 occasions per week and had video calls with participant growth coach Jarret Stoll to talk about defensive positioning.

3. The previous guard

How for much longer can captain Anze Kopitar35, defenseman Drew Doughty32, and goalie Jonathan Quick, 36, stave off Father Time? Kopitar’s 67 factors (19 targets, 48 ​​assists) have been his most since an NHL career-high 92 (35 targets, 57 assists) in 2017-18. Quick enters the ultimate season of a 10-year contract after holding off Cal Petersen together with his finest totals (23 wins, 2.59 goals-against common, .910 save share) since that very same season. Doughty led Kings defensemen with 31 factors (seven targets, 24 assists) and a median ice time of 25:44 regardless of being restricted to 39 video games. He had a knee contusion, was within the NHL COVID-19 protocol and didn’t play after March 7 as a result of of a wrist damage that required surgical procedure on April 11.

Video: NHL Tonight talks Adrian Kempe’s contract extension

ROSTER RUNDOWN

Making the minimize

There will likely be competitors on the left facet of the protection between Brandt Clarke, Sean Walker, Tobias Bjornfot and Jordan Spence. Walker is a wild card after having surgical procedure for a torn ACL and MCL six video games into final season. Any additional time he wants might create a gap for Clarke, a 19-year-old chosen with the No. 8 choose within the 2021 NHL Draft, or Spence, a 21-year-old who averaged 19:45 of ice time in 24 regular-season video games and 18:01 in three Stanley Cup Playoff video games.

Most intriguing addition

Fiala tasks at first-line proper wing with Kopitar and Kempe; he completed final season with 51 factors (20 targets, 31 assists) in his remaining 41 video games. For the season, Fiala had 17 power-play factors (5 targets, 12 assists) and will elevate an influence play that was twenty seventh within the NHL (16.1 %).

Biggest potential shock

It’s been simple exterior the group to overlook about Alex Turcotte, a 21-year-old middle whose profession has been interrupted by two concussions that saved him out of on-ice actions on the growth camp. The No. 5 picks within the 2019 NHL Draft are on the roster for the Rookie Faceoff prospect match that started Friday. Turcotte is projected to play most of this season for Ontario within the American Hockey League. If he is wholesome and has recreation, he’ll have the look of a participant who can spark the Kings down the stretch. He had 18 factors (six targets, 12 assists) in 27 AHL video games final season.

Ready to break by way of

Although Kaliyev had a promising rookie season on paper (27 factors; 14 targets, 13 assists in 80 video games), the numbers camouflage three targets in his final 26 regular-season video games and no factors with a minus-3 score in seven playoff video games. He’ll reunite with middle Blake Lizotte and play with left wing Alex Iafallo on the third line. His ceiling is within the high six.

Fantasy sleeper

Trevor MooreLW/RW (undrafted on common in fantasy) — He had NHL profession highs in factors (48), targets (17), assists (31), plus/minus (plus-20) and photographs on aim (202) final season. Moore ranked third on the Kings in 5-on-5 factors per 60 minutes (1.97) and is a fantasy deep sleeper enjoying of their top-six ahead group, which ought to get a lift from the acquisition of Fiala. — Anna Dua

PROJECTED LINEUP

Adrian Kempe — Anze Kopitar — Kevin Fiala

Trevor Moore — Phillip DanaultViktor Arvidsson

Alex Iafallo — Blake Lizotte — Arthur Kaliyev

Gabriel Vilardi — Quinton Byfield — Rasmus Kupari

Mikey Anderson — Drew Doughty

Tobias Bjornfot — Matt Roy

Alexander EdlerSean Durzi

Jonathan Quick

Cal Petersen

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