Trevor Lewis

NHL on NBCSN: 5 Kings that could be traded before deadline

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Wednesday’s matchup between the Dallas Stars and Los Angeles Kings. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Last year, the St. Louis Blues proved that being in last place in early January doesn’t mean your season is over. Are you tired of hearing that yet? It seems like a lot of the teams that are outside of the playoffs right now are using that as their slogan. The reality is, the Blues were the exception to the rule.

So, don’t be surprised if the Kings don’t go from the Western Conference basement to a playoff spot this season. Los Angeles is in the middle of a rebuild that will take some time. They have good core pieces like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, but there’s too many elements missing around them.

The Kings currently own a 17-23-4 record, which is fourth-worst in the league. General manager Rob Blake will have some tough decisions to make this season, but deciding whether or not to be a seller at the trade deadline isn’t one of them.

Blake will have to find a way to unload some of the veterans he has on the team so that he can accumulate draft picks and prospects to help with the rebuild.

Who could be on the move?

Tyler Toffoli – Forward

Toffoli is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so he’ll be an intriguing rental for one of the contenders out there. The 27-year-old has 11 goals and 24 points in 43 games. He’s surpassed the 20-goal mark three different times and he scored 30 goals once. There are plenty of teams that need secondary scoring and that’s exactly what Toffoli would provide.

Trevor Lewis – Forward

Lewis isn’t as big of a name as Toffoli, but he could be a useful depth forward for a team looking to improve their bottom two lines. The 33-year-old has one goal and six points in 31 games this season. His advanced stats are particularly interesting. When he’s on the ice, the Kings control 53.89 percent of the shot attempts, 55 percent of the expected goals for and 51.69 percent of the high-danger scoring chances. Lewis can also play any of the three forward positions. He’s going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Kyle Clifford – Forward

Like Toffoli and Lewis, Clifford is also going to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. The 28-year-old has that coveted size that a lot of teams are looking for a depth forward. Clifford has five goals and 12 points in 43 games this season. When he’s on the ice, the Kings have 56.24 percent of the shot share, 57.2 percent of the XGF% and 57.59 percent of the high danger scoring chances.

Derek Forbort – Defense

Forbort made his regular-season debut on Monday night. He missed an extended period of time with a back injury, but he appears to be healthy. If he can stay on the ice, the pending unrestricted free agent will be able to build up some value on the trade market. The 27-year-old has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game over the last three seasons. A contender will roll the dice on Forbort if he’s healthy.

Alec Martinez – Defense

Martinez wouldn’t be a pure rental. He has this year and next year remaining on his contract at a reasonable cap hit of $4 million. The 32-year-old missed a good chunk of the season with a wrist injury, but he’s been back for two games now. He’s averaged over 21 minutes of ice time since the 2015-16 season. Martinez’s track record and his reasonable salary make him an interesting pick up for any team looking to improve their back end.

Kathryn Tappen will host Wednesday’s coverage on NHL Live alongside analysts Patrick Sharp and Keith Jones and Bob McKenzie. Chris Cuthbert will handle play-by-play duties alongside analyst Jim Fox from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

The Buzzer: Sharks dominate at MSG; Leafs edge Kings

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Player of the Night: Martin Jones, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks netminder stood tall Monday night during a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers. Jones stopped 33 shots as San Jose won their fourth consecutive game. Logan Couture recorded two points, which included his 200th career NHL assist. He now has six goals and nine points in four games.

Highlight of the Night:

Lovely shorthanded finish here by Trevor Lewis to help the Los Angeles Kings cut the Toronto Maple Leafs lead to 3-2 late in their game:

MISC:

• Congrats to Tim Heed for scoring his first NHL goal.

• New York’s power play failed on all six opportunities.

• The Rangers have won only twice in eight home games this season.

Frederik Andersen stopped 36 shots and Patrick Marleau recorded his fourth of the year as the Maple Leafs edged the Kings 3-2.

• Marleau’s goal stood as the game-winner and was the 99th of his career, good for eighth all-time.

• A weird sequence in the first period saw Jonathan Quick take an elbow to the head and be briefly forced from the game due to a concussion spotter’s call. Oddly, it took several minutes for Quick to be removed from the game, and then he was only off the ice for whistle.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rK1gliq3kvA%5D

Factoid of the Night: 

Monday’s scores:

San Jose 4, New York Rangers 1

Toronto 3, Los Angeles 2

U.S. wins bronze at Worlds

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For the second time in three years the Americans will take home a bronze medal from the World Hockey Championship.

Nick Bonino, Trevor Lewis and Charlie Coyle had the goals.

Connor Hellebuyck made 39 saves for the shutout as the Americans defeated the Czech Republic 3-0 on Sunday afternoon.

The Czech Republic had plenty of opportunities to solve Hellebuyck including a four-minute power play in the second period.

The hosts also out-shot the Americans 16-1 in the third, but could not find the back of the net.

Bonino scored the eventual game-winner at 7:14 of the first period putting home the rebound off of Brock Nelson’s shot for his second goal of the tournament.

Ondrej Pavelec made 13 saves in the loss.

(Related) Report: Jagr retires from international competition (again)

Video: Eichel sets up Trevor Lewis with a highlight-reel assist

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Projected as the No. 2 overall selection at next month’s NHL Draft, Jack Eichel showed why he’s so highly touted on Sunday at the World Hockey Championship.

With the Americans already up 1-0, Eichel won the puck battle against Petr Caslava before setting up Trevor Lewis for the game’s second goal.

Eichel now has two goals and five assists in 10 games at the tournament.

Americans secure quarterfinal spot with win over Slovenia at Worlds

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Brock Nelson scored twice and added an assist as the U.S. defeated Slovenia 3-1 on Sunday at the World Hockey Championship in the Czech Republic.

Jack Eichel had the other goal for the Americans while Trevor Lewis assisted on all three goals.

Winnipeg Jets’ prospect Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves in the win.

The U.S. improves to 5-0-1 in the preliminary round with one game remaining and have booked a spot in the quarterfinal with the win.

Ales Music had the lone Slovenian goal while Robert Kristan made 14 saves.

The loss relegates Slovenia to the second division.

The Americans conclude preliminary round play on Tuesday against the host Czech Republic. With a win on Tuesday, the U.S. can secure top spot in Group B.