After more than three seasons of toiling in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs, the Los Angeles Kings finally gave 2008 second round pick Slava Voynov a shot at full-time NHL duty last season. The young Russian scored eight goals and added 12 assists for the Kings as they snuck into the playoffs, then added a goal and two assists during the playoffs while helping the team to its first-ever Stanley Cup championship. Early on in the 2013 season, Voynov continues to impress, and he is becoming a reliable NHL defenseman in just his second season.
Voynov has two goals and six points through the Kings’ first 11 games, good enough to lead the team’s defense and scoring and place fifth overall on the Kings, ahead of veterans like Jarret Stoll, Drew Doughty and Simon Gagne. Voynov finds himself paired with Rob Scuderi at the moment and the pair average more time on the ice than any of their teammates except Doughty. A rating of plus-7 is good enough to lead the team at the moment, and shows that Voynov is making the most of his ice time and is an asset when he is out there. He had shown signs of promise while in the AHL and now looks like a very capable player at the highest level.
Voynov scored 15 goals and added 36 assists for the Monarchs during the 2010-11 season, but still didn’t get the call-up to the Kings. With the team drafting Doughty in the first round of the 2008 draft, they make look back on that draft class for many years as the one that formed the core of their defense for the next decade.