During the off-season, or when your favorite team is eliminated, is when the fun, yet stressful, time begins.
Everyone suspects they know who is coming back, who should be fired or traded and, most importantly, who should the team draft. The Los Angeles Kings are sure to have some roster shakeup but who stays and who goes?
What we, as Kings fans, can expect is the core of this team will remain intact, unless management gets an unreal offer or the player request to be moved. The players who have already locked up a spot include Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Dustin Brown, Jonathan Quick, Tyler Toffoli, and Kyle Clifford. Jeff Carter’s future is not certain and neither is the future of Ilya Kovalchuk. Mike Amadio, Matt Luff, Kurtis MacDermid, Austin Wagner, and Cal Petersen played amazingly well during their stints with the Kings but are fighting for a permanent spot next year.
Most of the young core players who played at least 20 games and contributed should be given a hard look in camp next year because they have shown they can play with the regulars.
Of course, all of this is contingent on player buyouts, trades or assignment to the AHL Ontario Reign. The players listed above, who were not regulars, can give the Kings a much-needed boost of energy, speed, and youth. They can all produce, can skate and have some size that the Kings need. This off-season should be interesting as we see our 2019-20 Kings roster slowly come together.
Who are the young players that deserve a spot next year? Will we see draft day moves? The Kings are certain to have a different look next season, but how much different?