Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Dustin Penner, and Justin Williams were probably the most notable forwards during the playoff run, but the hockey world may be overlooking the bottom six of the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings bottom six had a significant amount of playing time throughout the playoffs in which created a strong advantage for the Kings.
The two biggest names that will most likely be on the 3rd line are Simon Gagne and Jarret Stoll. Gagne has been plagued by injuries, but managed 17 points in 34 games and was on the pace for 41 points. Stoll may be one of the most underrated centerman in the NHL due to him being overshadowed by Kopitar and Richards. With an average performance during the regular season, Stoll was put more into a defensive role by killing penalties and he became their face-off specialist winning 55% of his draws during the regular season. Both players have hit 40+ points in their careers and if both are healthy, they can do it again, even on the 3rd line.
Dwight King and Jordan Nolan provided excellent depth on the 4th line, which allowed the Kings to play a full four lines throughout the playoffs. King finished the season with 14 points in just 27 games and collected 8 points in the playoffs. While Nolan was a little more quiet, he still provided the energy and grit that kept the Kings 4th line running strong. These two will only continue to improve as they are still very young. Along with these two Kyle Clifford is another young player who provided solid numbers in the regular season and continues to impress. Not only have these three players added great depth to the 3rd and 4th lines, but they are still very young and can take on a bigger role in the future.
With the bottom six having a good mixture of veterans and youth, the Kings may have the best bottom six in the league, which will help with their chances for another cup in the 2012-2013 season. Also, don’t forget that the Kings also have strong prospects in Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, and Jordan Weal looking to make a splash at training camp.