Currently sitting in the Pacific Division basement, the LA Kings haven’t jumped out to what can be described as a hot start to the 2019-20 season.
Being the last of seven division teams to reach the double-digit mark in wins can be seen as disheartening by some, however there is still a lot of life left in this Kings team. LA can breathe a little easier than in year’s past knowing that if their Western Conference rival St. Louis Blues taught fans anything looking at the standings one year ago, it’s that the season is far from over.
Even with that being said, Canadian online sports betting sites aren’t giving much hope to the Kings for the balance of this campaign. The team has shifted into an underdog role, after previously being viewed as Stanley Cup contenders for several seasons.
Some of the top sites certainly don’t believe in the Kings this time around. Take quick look through some of the best online sports betting Canada has to offer and you’ll find the Kings as longshots to win their division, let alone the Stanley Cup. LA has become the team you slap five-dollars on for fun because their chances at winning it all (the division or the Cup) are so slim. If it works out, the odds earn you a healthy return on your money; if not, it’s only five bucks lost.
Looking over their NHL roster, the Kings’ young studs aren’t exactly tearing up the league just yet, but they are getting games played at the highest level – which is key to the long-term vision. Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see which players the Kings send down to the AHL for further development in Ontario. For now, players like Austin Wagner, Blake Lizotte, and Matt Luff are playing up with the big boys. As noted, regardless of their point production this season, they are gaining valuable ice-time.
All three of the aforementioned forwards are playing a decent amount of minutes per night. For example, Wagner averages more than 11 minutes per game and Lizotte typically sees around 14 minutes. Of course, the hope is — in time — all of these younger players will figure out how to create more offense playing on the bigger stage.
As for the Reign, they also feature several of the organization’s most promising prospects. Jaret Anderson-Dolan is projected as the Kings third-line center of the future, after spending a little time in the NHL last season. Defenseman Tobias Bjornfot, drafted in the first round last June, and 2018’s top pick, Rasmus Kupari, have both come over from Europe to further hone their skills and improve their chances of one day making it to the NHL roster. Any of these players listed — along with guys like Mikey Anderson and Sean Durzi — could be future game-changers for Los Angeles down the line.
Of course, any talk of LA prospects must include mention of center Alex Turcotte. The former member of the US National Development Team continues to turn heads on the ice. Selected fifth overall in 2019, he is already excelling as a freshman with the Wisconsin Badgers, picking up 15 points in 14 games. Turcotte, who has transitioned well at the college level, has all the tools to be a fantastic player and it’s no surprise that he projects to be a stud in the NHL.
LA’s prospect pool has been restocked over the past few seasons and is now as strong as nearly any other team in the NHL. Thus, it’s easy to see why Los Angeles (and their fans) should be excited about the future. Unfortunately, it’s just going to take some time, as the current Kings are mired in a bit of mediocrity right now. Although it will most likely take a few years to all come into focus, the future definitely looks bright for the two-time Stanley Cup champions.
Over the next few seasons, management is looking for the veteran leadership group of Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, and Jonathan Quick to help guide the younger members of the organization to help the team achieve success at the highest level. Given the experience and past success of these five players, all rookies and future Kings should listen closely to the wisdom they impart.
Patience will be the Kings’ best friend right now. They have several players in the system that can and should push the franchise forward. Simply give it time and the Kings should once again be serious threats.