Fighting to eventually win two Stanley Cups is worth the cost of taking risks, but the Los Angeles Kings’ farm system has seen consequences from regular trade deadline moves.
Jewels From the Crown took a look at how much shallower the Kings’ prospect pool has become, something that seems clearer after the very clear graduations of scorers Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.
That said, there are still a couple prime-age players looking to make a dent on the NHL roster, including forward Jordan Weal.
It’s about that time for Weal. The 23-year-old was a third-rounder (70th overall) back in 2010, and he’s shown a solid knack for putting up points at the AHL level.
After scoring 70 points for the Manchester Monarchs in 2013-14, he nearly matched that output last season with 69 points. He really took off during the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs, scoring 22 points in 19 postseason games.
Weal thinks he has what it takes to take the next step, as NHL.com noted during his strong AHL playoff run.
“They have a great team up there and it’s really a great organization,” Weal said. “I can’t ask for more. They’ve given me lots of opportunity to play pro and get drafted and I think I’m ready to take the next step and play with them. But you never know. It’s tough to crack a team like that.”
Unlike Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff, Weal has yet to get his first taste of NHL action. The 2015-16 season represents his best chance to change that, especially after a strong finish with the Monarchs.
The Los Angeles Kings signed funny-named forward Andy Andreoff to a two-year contract on Wednesday.
LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen reports that it’s worth $1.175 million overall, or $587,500 per season. There isn’t any word from Rosen or the Kings regarding whether the deal is one-way or two-way.
Andreoff appeared in 18 regular season games with Los Angeles in 2014-15, collecting two goals and one assist for three points while receiving 8:34 minutes of ice time per contest.
The 24-year-old also generating 10 points in 11 games at the AHL level with the Manchester Monarchs. He may provide a little extra grit for the Kings here and there, as he produced 133 PIM in 2013-14 and 111 in 2012-13 with Manchester.
Andreoff was a third-round pick (80th overall) in the 2011 NHL Draft.
The Los Angeles Kings locked up one of their prized youngsters on Thursday, agreeing to terms with rookie forward Tanner Pearson on a two-year deal.
Per Sportsnet, the contract is worth $2.8 million for an average annual cap hit of $1.4M, which is nearly double what Pearson made on his entry-level deal.
All told, it’s a pretty good arrangement for both the club and player. Pearson, 22, was L.A.’s first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and rose to prominence during last year’s Cup run on “That 70s Line” with Jeff Carter and fellow youngster Tyler Toffoli.
This year, Pearson got off to a great start — he was October’s rookie of the month — and racked up 12 goals in 42 games before suffering a broken ankle in early January. (He’s currently out of the lineup and isn’t expected back until the playoffs… if the Kings make it.)
With Pearson now signed, Kings GM Dean Lombardi will turn his attention to Toffoli and the club’s other pending RFAs: Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff and goalie Martin Jones.
By shutting out the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 on Monday, the Los Angeles Kings end the night back in the West’s final wild card spot.
They had to grind this one out as Jonathan Quick made all 25 saves while Andy Andreoff scored the only goal on an increasingly spry Mike Smith (beaten just once on 35 shots). Los Angeles carried much of the play, but much like Washington out East, it wasn’t an easy night despite facing a “tanking” opponent.
Here is a quick look at the West wild card race after this one:
Minnesota (first wild card spot): 83 points, 35 regulation/overtime wins in 69 games played
Los Angeles (second wild card spot): 81 points, 32 ROW in 69 GP
Winnipeg: 80 points, 28 ROW in 69 GP
San Jose: 76 points, 31 ROW in 69 GP
Colorado: 75 points, 23 ROW in 69 GP
Dallas: 74 points, 29 ROW in 70 GP
It’s important to mention that the Kings could conceivably catch thee Calgary Flames (who have 81 points but two more ROW) and Vancouver Canucks (82 points, one game in hand on Los Angeles, plus three more ROW than the Kings) in the Pacific Division, too.
At this point, almost every win and loss could be framed as crucial. Regardless, the Kings would likely have some serious regrets if they dropped this one, but they managed to grit this one out. The West’s top teams probably aren’t happy, either.
Of course, a lot can still change in a month.
The Los Angeles Kings have tweaked their lines ahead of tonight’s contest versus the Coyotes, with hopes of getting some goals from a few more of their forwards.
“We’ve got guys who haven’t scored in 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 games, whatever it is, and some of them have had zero scoring opportunities for the last five as individuals,” coach Darryl Sutter said, per LA Kings Insider.
Sutter didn’t name names, but winger Dustin Brown has gone without a goal in his last 11 games, while winger Dwight King has gone goalless in 13.
This morning, Brown was skating on the first line with Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar, while King was on the third line with Nick Shore and Justin Williams. The second line had Trevor Lewis, Jeff Carter, and Tyler Toffoli, with Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, and Jordan Nolan comprising the fourth.
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