When the Los Angeles Kings signed free agent defenseman Andreas Englund to a 2-year/$2 million contract on July 1, 2023, they filled a void in their lineup.
The defense lacked toughness and was something they wanted to address in the off-season.
The 6’3″ and 189-lbs Englund fits perfectly in the Kings’ lineup as he prepares for his first season in Los Angeles.
Englund was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the 2nd round (40th overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and has played for the Senators, Colorado Avalanche, and Chicago Blackhawks. His totals last season with Colorado and Chicago were four assists, 35 penalty minutes, 13 blocked shots, 29 hits, and an average TOI of 15 minutes per game in 47 games. His career totals are seven assists and 59 penalty minutes in 80 games.
The 27-year-old from Stockholm, Sweden, is mobile for his size and can be a real asset to the Kings. He does not back down from the opposition, clears the crease, will fight if need be, plays a physical game, and is good on the penalty kill.
He does not bring a lot of offensive flair but can earn his paycheck in the defensive zone.
Los Angeles has not had a physical, defense-first defenseman in a few seasons. He will be playing in the bottom pairing, but that is where he is most comfortable. He will not be a scorer in the Kings organization, but he will be that throwback defenseman who can play a dirty yet honest game. Englund brings an intensity to the lineup that was missing, and with Brendan Lemieux and Zack MacEwen, but now goaltenders Pheonix Copley and Cam Talbot can feel safe with Englund on the ice.
The Kings, with the signing of Englund, now have a well-rounded defense that has size, speed, offensive flair, and now has toughness. He also completes the left side of the defense, with Vladislav Gavriikov and Mikey Anderson occupying the top two spots.
The Kings have an underrated defense that could be near the top of the league when all is said and done.
Englund brings a lot to the table that the Kings did not have and will be useful when the season starts.
Photo: Kara Keating/NHL.com