I’ll never forget the fight he had in Worcester this year, when he fought a real tough guy. He popped the guy. Then, he turned and looked at the bench, and hollered, like he was so exhilarated. The look on his face—it’s a moment that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
He was enjoying himself. He was having fun doing it. There aren’t a whole lot of guys who have a switch like that, where they’re doing a tough job, and he was loving life.
As Dean Lombardi once said, "every good army needs a couple of criminals."
The Kings drafted Andy Andreoff as an over-ager. They took him in the 3rd round of the 2011 draft as a 20-year old coming off a 75-point season with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. Andreoff made a significant leap forward in production in his draft season, but that should be taken with a grain of salt given his age and body type. Listed at 6'1'', 198 pounds, he was a man among boys.
|15||Andy Andreoff||May 17, 1991||Canadian||Round 3, 80th overall (2011)||91|
Andreoff's most obvious asset is his physical game. He hits, he mucks and he grinds. He's very adept at using his body and is very strong while on his skates. However, he is not particularly fast. Since being drafted, the Kings have focused on making him a more capable skater.
He started off the 2012/13 season in a fairly limited role with Manchester. The eventual departures of Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, and Tyler Toffoli allowed Andreoff to take on some more responsibility. Much like the previously profiled Jordan Weal, Andreoff got off to a slow start on the score sheet. Although he had 4 points in his first 6 games, he followed that with a 13-game scoring drought. Through December, the young power forward had just 6 points in 29 games. As the season wore on, however, his production picked up. While he never dominated the scoreboard, he had 20 points in 40 games after the calendar rolled over to 2013. Monarchs' head coach Mark Morris was impressed enough with his progress to increase his role significantly as the season wore on. Andreoff eventually saw time on both the PK and PP.
Andreoff is listed as a center on the AHL's website, but various articles list him at left wing as well. Nelson Emerson, ambiguously listed with Player Development on LAKings.com, said the following about Andreoff at the Kings' recent development camp:
He’s a strong, strong forward who’s capable of playing center or left wing. He’s got an NHL-type body, he’s got NHL toughness, he’ll go into traffic, and you know what? He’s a hockey player. He just plays the right way. He’s hard on his stick. He makes a lot of little plays, and what a great asset to have—a player who’s tough and strong, but also makes a lot of plays.
At the very least, we know the Kings used their 3rd round selection in 2011 to take...a hockey player.
Given the recent departure of utility man Brad Richardson, Andreoff may find himself with a leg up on the ladder just by virtue of versatility. In addition to being able to play left wing and center, Andreoff played some right wing in juniors. Andreoff projects as a bottom six type with enough talent to separate himself from your average thug. Sounds quite a bit like Kyle Clifford, actually. The advantage Andreoff has over Clifford is versatility. The rest of their game seems to wash out pretty evenly, minus Andreoff's aforementioned issue with skating. Then again, Clifford's no speedster. Obviously Clifford is ahead of Andreoff at the moment simply because we know what Clifford can do in the NHL. That said, the gap between them isn't a big one. Given some of the struggles the fourth line had last season, it isn't much of a stretch to say Andreoff has a good chance to play with the Kings very soon.