The Los Angeles Kings prepare for the exhibition season in Melbourne, Australia and take on the Arizona Coyotes. With rookie camp behind us, training camp takes center stage and will be the focus, along with the preseason games, for the next few weeks. With rookies and prospects added to the mix, there are a lot of expectations for this team. Three specific players on the Kings roster are one to watch at camp as they are the ones whop will lead the team this season.
Kings’ Ones to Watch Includes Two Newcomers
Center Pierre-Luc Dubois was acquired, then signed, in the biggest off-season move the organization made.With an already defined roster, Los Angeles were looking for a player who could help offensively and be a weapon on the power play. Enter Dubois. A big body with a lethal shot, he brings on an added dimension to the team. Without knowing his role or his line mates, he has to come into both training camp and the regular season motivated. He wanted out of the Winnipeg Jets organization and got his wish when the Kings traded for his services.
Dubois needs a good camp and start to the season to show the organization he was worth the trade and contract extension. He does have the ability to potentially lead the team in points due to his offensive game, which consists of finding open teammates and finding the perfect place for his shot. He needs to get comfortable with the team and his surroundings before the season gets started as he should be fully adjusted come October.
Goaltender Cam Talbot was signed to backup, yet compete with, starter Pheonix Copley. Copley was amazing in 2022-23 and the Kings hope he can duplicate the results from last season. Talbot comes in as a veteran who can play 30 games or a full season between the pipes. Talbot will likely start a few games in the preseason to see what kind of game he has at this point and get him acquainted with the new system.
Talbot is capable of solid play and stealing a game or two, which may be important down the home stretch. He is a veteran who can still play in this league but is not what he was five years ago. The Kings goaltending situation is much better than last season and is more durable now that they can both backup and start if need be.
Defenseman Jordan Spence is a young player still looking to find a full-time roster spot with Los Angeles. After dominating the American Hockey League with the Ontario reign, Spence finally made his NHL debut and played well for the few games he played in the big leagues. After a few call-ups, he is still adjusting to the pro style of game and is looking to make a statement at training camp. With Brandt Clarke out with an injury, this could be a big opportunity for Spence. He has the talent, offensive ability, and speed to play a pivotal role for the Kings organization for the foreseeable future.
The issue is that he has not blown away management in his limited time in the NHL. Spence could start the season in Ontario but will see time in Los Angeles. If Clarke is healthy that could be bad news for Spence. If Clarke is out for an amount of time Spence will get playing time and management can see where he is in his development.
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)