This is part of Los Angeles Kings day at PHT…
The Kings have one of the most experienced, veteran rosters in the NHL with some pretty big contracts in place. That combination usually means there isn’t a lot of room for new blood to break into the lineup. One younger player that should be competing for a roster spot this season is going to be the team’s 2010 first-round draft pick, defenseman Derek Forbort.
He finally made his NHL debut for the Kings last season, appearing in 14 games where he recorded two points (one goal, one assist) and posted some pretty dominant possession numbers in limited playing time.
Given his age, the fact he will be eligible for waivers this season, and that he really doesn’t have anything left to prove in the American Hockey League, this is going to be a big training camp for Forbort to potentially earn a spot on the NHL roster.
Standing in his way is going to be the fact the Kings have quite a few defenders locked into roster spots on the blue line, while they also have some veteran players looking to earn playing time on the blue line. He’s also trying to make a roster that tends to lean toward more experienced players when it comes to playing time.
Even though the defense is pretty crowded at this point and a roster spot is going to be tough to come by, it wouldn’t be the worst thing for the Kings to work in a little bit of youth on their blue line, especially when it comes to their third pairing where the options right now include Rob Scuderi, a player who is clearly a shell of his former self and played for three different teams a year ago, and Matt Greene, a player that is coming off of a 2015-16 campaign where he played in just three games.
Defense in the NHL now is as much about skating ability and moving the puck as it is about playing well in your own zone, and a lot of the veteran guys they have competing for those depth spots don’t really fit that mold. You need players that can handle defensive roles, but you can’t anchor your team with players that don’t have the speed and mobility to keep up in today’s game. If the Kings decide to stick with Scuderi or Greene in those depth spots, they might be running that risk. Plus, they probably don’t want to risk losing a younger asset that could still have a future like Forbort to waivers for no return.