To say the Los Angeles Kings are deep is the equivalent of saying the team plays in Southern California; it is so painstakingly obvious that it’s a waste of time even mentioning it. Having said that, the winners of two of the last three Stanley Cups can always use youth in the lineup as some of the veterans are getting up there in age, and certain tweaks could be beneficial. One of those young players is center Nick Shore, formerly of the University of Denver
Shore’s brother, Drew, has become a regular with the Florida Panthers and Nick will be looking to make the jump to the NHL with the Kings this season after playing with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs last year. Both Shore brothers are solid two-way forwards, but Nick’s versatility is what will make him a valuable NHL contributor for years to come.
I project Shore to be a solid NHL third line center, but feel he has the hockey IQ to fit in anywhere the Kings need him, from the first line to the fourth line. Not many young players have the defensive abilities that Shore does, and that is in many ways what separates him from other players in the Kings’ system.
While it’ll be tough for the 21-year-old Shore to make the Kings out of training camp, expect the Denver native to be among the first recalls when the inevitable injuries start happening. Look for Shore to become a favorite of Darryl Sutter as his mix of defensive acumen, sandpaper-type play, versatility and timely offensive contributions will make a very valuable player to a deep team like the Kings.