When the season began, a number of rookies had earned key roles on the Kings roster.
As things wind to a conclusion this weekend we’ve been looking at which newcomer was the best-of-the-best. And who better to ask than the four leading candidates?
In a series of articles that began here, Jonathan Bernier said he’d go with Trevor Lewis. Kyle Clifford couldn’t decide and went the safe route with a three-way tie. Lewis ultimately chose to select Clifford the winner. So, we don’t have a consensus yet.
Additionally, the group of rookies offered comments on each other, as well as fellow rookie, defenseman Alec Martinez. So, what about the young blueliner – what did he have to say about all of this? Take a look…
On Bernier – “He’s a really good goalie. He’s done a great job when he gets the call and he’s had a great year. I think that the team is really confident in him too. So, he’s a great asset to have.”
On Clifford – “Obviously, Cliffy’s a huge part of this team. He works really hard. He does a lot of things, he works in the corners, he grinds, he makes plays and as we saw the other night, he can score goals too. He’s a good force, toughness-wise, as well. If we need a kick in the rear during the game, he’s not afraid to step up and get a scrap or something, get the team going. So, he’s really important to our team.”
On Lewis – “Lewie’s just a great two-way player. He can play offense, he can score goals and he’s really responsibly defensively as well. I think he’s probably one of the best, complete two-way forwards and young guys that I’ve ever played with. I think he has a lot of upside and he’s going to get a lot better too.”
Knowing that he couldn’t vote for himself, who did he select when asked to pick just one?
“I don’t know. I don’t think think I could pick one, honestly,” Martinez started with, but then added – “I know I’m taking the easy way out. I don’t think you could pick one over the other, just because at different points of the year and different parts of the game, they’ve all come up really big for us. I think those three have really done a good job and I’m just happy to be in good company with them.”
To read the full articles with the other three rookies (including their comments on each other), simply click on the player’s name here: Bernier, Clifford or Lewis.
This series continues later today with comments from coach Terry Murray and captain Dustin Brown.
Here’s a hint – they both pick a clear winner, no more ties.