LA Kings Christmas Wishlist

After starting the year with very inconsistent play the Kings may have found their footing as a team and have been playing a much more consistent brand of hockey. While they are no Tampa Bay Lightning the Kings seem to hang around in more games and have a total of 16 games decided by 1 goal. This is very encouraging for a young team trying to exit the rebuild and make a push for the playoffs. However the NHL season has come to an extended Christmas break due to a league wide covid outbreak at an inopportune time for the Kings.

As of late the Kings have been playing very solid hockey posting a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 with some big wins over top caliber teams. However there are holes in this lineup that will need to be patched up if they are going to push for playoff spot this season. With the injury to Alex Edler, there is a big hole on the left side of the defense. If the Kings are looking to add to the roster this season a left shot defensemen should be priority number one on the list. One name that comes to mind that has been circulating in rumors lately is Jakob Chychrun.

Chychrun is a young left shot defensemen on a very affordable contract for another 3 seasons. He plays a solid two-way game and has potential to be one the leagues true elite defensemen. Looking through the Kings organization top to bottom this is the type of player they are missing. Grans, Clarke, and Faber are arguably the Kings top three defensive prospects outside of the NHL and all three happen to play the right side. While trading for Chychrun will require a similar package Vegas sent to Buffalo for Jack Eichel, the Kings have the prospect pool to make it work and fill a much needed hole in the organization. 

Another critical need for the Kings is their young prospects to continue on with their development and start competing for jobs at the NHL level. Starting with Byfield who had some tough luck in the preseason, has made his return from injury and has played his first four games of the season in the AHL. While he is pointless through the first four it is important to remember that these four games are all he’s been able to play in the last 9 months. Look for a call up for Byfield closer to spring. As for Turcotte, he may not be lighting it up on the scoresheet in the AHL this season, he has been playing some great hockey for the Reign. If it wasnt for a fluke injury in practice he would have already been called up to the big club. With the third line center position being a revolving door of sort this season, look for Turcotte to find his way up to the big club sooner rather than later. Finally, one of the true bright spots this season has been Arthur Kaliyev and his performance on the fourth line in his rookie season. While only averaging 12 minutes a night Kaliyev has been able to pot 6 goals has shown he has a laser of a shot.

Even with the very streaky inconsistent play this season, it’s been a very positive season for the Kings. They may not be winning every game but their play this season compared to last has shown a tremendous amount of growth and they are playing game that actually mater. If the Kings can patch up a few holes and bolster the roster they have a strong chance of pushing for one of the wild card spots and returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

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