Dobber's offseason fantasy hockey grades – Los Angeles Kings
For the last 13 years (12 with The Hockey News) I have reviewed each team from a fantasy hockey standpoint, and graded them. My 14th annual review will appear here on DobberHockey throughout the summer. This is not a review of the likely performance on the ice or in the standings, but in the realm of fantasy hockey.
Impact of changes – Lucic is not such a star power forward that his absence suddenly takes the Kings out of playoff contention. But I feel like the Kings’ 102 points last season were about four or six points too high. Lucic leaving and only getting replaced by Purcell will cost them another four points – and suddenly 102 points become 93 or 94. The playoffs are not the certainty that the Kings hope they will be.
The Kings are a steady, well-coached team. This is an example of a team that may be, on paper, a little weaker than in reality. The sign of a good coach.
Ready for full-time – Nobody is really champing at the bit here for the Kings. Derek Forbort, a defensive defenseman, is probably 50-50 to make the big club. And those may be the best odds. (Read more on Forbort here)
Michael Mersch broke out in the AHL with 43 points in 52 games. Then he was called up to the Kings and tallied three points in 17 games. He offers Los Angeles a big, strong (6-2, 218) body for the left wing. (Read more on Mersch here)
Adrian Kempe had an up-and-down North American debut for Ontario of the AHL, posting just 28 points in 55 games. He definitely needs a full season in the AHL. Dominate at that level before moving onto the next one. (Read more on Kempe here)
Fantasy Outlook – The Kings are generally a low-scoring team, however last year Anze Kopitar stepped up with 74 points and defenseman Drew Doughty had 51. For Kopitar, the presence of youngster Tyler Toffoli has really helped. Toffoli is a future 70-point player himself (58 last year). The decline of Marian Gaborik, Dustin Brown and even (to a lesser extent) newcomer Purcell is concerning. The prospect pipeline isn’t exactly dazzling, either. Only owners of Kopitar, Doughty, Toffoli and/or Quick will be happy to own players from this team.
Fantasy Grade: C (last year was C-)
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