Yesterday on Twitter, most of the Jewels from the Crown writers (and a number of esteemed commenters) debated the merits of the new contract received by Trevor Lewis. Because we're all very civil people, it was a nice debate, and you can read the whole thing here. (Also, follow us on Twitter. Do it.)
Anyway, the conversation brought up a point which Jon Rosen (by way of Pumpernicholl from The Royal Half) wrote about last month. Namely: Trevor Lewis has been incredibly good at drawing penalties this season. Over the year, he's drawn 21 penalties on his opponents, but he's only gone to the box three times himself, good for a penalty plus-minus of +18. Lewis isn't the top King at drawing penalties, but when it comes to penalty differential, he is the team's best, ahead of even Brown and Anze Kopitar.
The below table shows the Kings' leaders in drawing penalties, as well as how many penalties they've taken themselves. Note that the tendency of Williams (especially) and Nolan to take penalties has overshadowed their ability to draw penalties. On the other hand, Richards and Kopitar have been able to avoid making too many mistakes, while Brown's legendary ability to get calls simply overwhelms any penalties he takes.
Los Angeles Kings - Most Penalties Drawn
Is this a fluke? The effectiveness of Lewis this year in this department is well ahead of past seasons; in 2011-12 and 2012-13, he drew fewer penalties and went to the box more often. However, even in those seasons, he was top-5 on the team in penalty differential. That has always been an upside of Lewis' game; this year, however, it's probably been the best part of his game. Does it make up for his lack of offensive skill and subpar possession numbers? That's open to debate.