HockeysFuture.com recently deemed the Los Angeles Kings the NHL’s best organization in terms of their prospects.
This is a bump up from their second-place ranking last season.
The website believes the Kings have strengths in all three areas of play, praising defensive, offensive and goaltending prospects.
They gave a nod to L.A.’s “impressive” young defenseman, highlighting Derek Forbort, Slava Voynov, and Nic Deslauriers.
The site called the Kings’ centers to be on the same level, specifically naming Brayden Schenn and Andrei Loktionov.
Jonathan Bernier is still considered a prospect by Hockey’s Future, despite having started 22 games as the Kings’ regular backup in 2010-11. The site says he “possesses top starter potential”.
The Kings’ weakness, as given by Hockey’s Future, reflects one of their weaknesses at the NHL level.
There are a handful of potential top-six forwards in the system, but none with sure top-line upside.
Indeed, the NHL Kings have good scorers, even boasting a roster with six 20-goal scorers last season (including Dustin Penner, who netted most of his goals with the Edmonton Oilers). However, even with the likes of 2011 All-Star Anze Kopitar, the Kings were lacking a truly potent offensive threat.
They have players who can make the other team uncomfortable but none to really make them sweat. And if the report from Hockey’s Future is any indication, they should not look within to find that heat.
However, it does bode well for the Kings to have such a strong prospect class.
The Kings are a young team who should not need to make a lot of changes for awhile, but their youngsters should prove to be some very worthy reinforcements.
I think the Kings just need to find the right mix of youth and veteran leaders to guide them in order to be successful. They already have both; they just need the right “measurements,” so to speak.
The site lists the Kings’ top five prospects as follows: Schenn, Bernier, Loktionov, Tyler Toffoli and Derek Forbort.
The first three all saw time at the top, with Bernier being the only NHL regular.