The Kings have, as most see it, the best and deepest prospect pool in the league. Combine that with a veteran roster that is hungry for success since falling from their 2 Cups in the early 2010s, and it is most definitely a team worth keeping tabs on. Adding useful pieces in Danault and Arvidsson certainly adds some of the luster that has been traded away in recent years, joining Kopitar, Brown, Kempe and Iafollo as returning members of the top 9 Fs. The picture becomes almost impossible to see clearly as a glut of young players floods in behind them, from the acquired Athanasiou and Andersson, to the workmanlike Moore, Lemieux, Wagner, and Grundstrom, to the developed Vilardi, Anderson-Dolan, and Lizotte, before we even get to the tantalizing prospects of Byfield, Turcotte, Thomas, Kaliyev, and Kupari. For good measure 26 year old Vladimir Tkachyov was signed after 2 productive seasons in the KHL.
The defence is probably the biggest question of this roster, but there are plenty of ingredients there already. Of course, Doughty remains both effective and expensive, but his pride and drive led to a promising improvement in play, and help set expectations for the team as a whole quite high. Mikey Anderson is quietly a very strong defender, while Maatta, Roy and Walker return in depth roles. Bjornfot and Clague appear to be ready to win regular jobs, while Edler was signed after a tough season in Vancouver. Durzi could find his way into a few games this season, while Spence, Grans, and 2021 8th overall pick Brandt Clarke offer a lot of promise to tie blueline heading forward.
Cal Peterson is poised and compensated to fully assume the starter role in net, and a lighter workload and strong team could see Quick turn in a strong performance in the backup role. It still has to come together, and of course their potential might not be realized in one fell swoop this season, but the Kings profile as a team that will exceed their general expectations this season.
lineup via dailyfaceoff