When Adrian Kempe was drafted 29th overall in the 1st round of the 2014 draft he already came with something most kids that age playing hockey don’t have – experience playing against players older, bigger, and stronger.
That experience came in his native Sweden in 2012-13. The Kings did not know, however, how is game would translate to the United States style of play. Needless to say that Kempe has adjusted quite well during his time here.
The 6-2, 201 pound center has developed into one of the better young players in the organization. Although he is still young and learning the game he has shown moments of flash and brilliance. While only scoring 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists) in his 25 game rookie year he blossomed to a career high of 37 points (16 goals and 21 assists) in 81 games during the 2017-18 season. He has played primarily in the top 9 of the forward pairings but has top line potential.
Kempe has the potential to be the second coming of current King and Captain Anze Kopitar. He is about the same size and possesses most of the same skills as Kopitar while playing the same position. Kempe is a physical, two-way center who is good on the PowerPlay and Penalty Kill. He is blessed with good speed and a quick, deceptive shot.
The Kings are fortunate to have him in the system and he should be not only one of the best young stars, but one of the core pieces for years to come. This kid is going to be very good down the road, given the chance to shine. Do not write out Kempe being the future Captain of the Kings in the future. The sky is the limit for him, now we patiently wait.