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LA Kings' Top 25 Under 25: #8- Valentin Zykov

Valentin > You

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

First off:

This kid legitimately rules. Most guys take years of answering inane questions before they get annoyed but Zykov? Zykov is not giving a shit from day 1. I expected him to say, "Later skaters!" and do a kick flip off the podium.

Couple reasons Zykov is better than you:

1) His name is Valentin Zykov. I mean, c'mon. His name could be Zangief Stolichnaya and he couldn't be more Russian.

2) He's the cool post-Soviet Russian like in Golden Eye. I really hope he scores and then yells, "I am invincible!"

3) He doesn't have a weird fish mouth like Tanner Pearson. Seriously, have you seen that thing? Creepy.

4) Zykov is basically Alex Frolov 2.0. He's what Dean Lombardi always hoped Frolov would be. They're both great puck possession players but while Frolov would dance and dance and dance in the corner, Zykov makes a move and then heads straight to the net. Lombardi seems to have a penchant for drafting Russians who don't play like Russians and Zykov definitely fits that mold.

5) Valentin Zykov! It's so Russian. It makes me want to bribe someone and harbor an American fugitive just reading it.

Zykov is going back to Whereeverthehelleu, Quebec for another year of owning losers in the QMJHL and then he should be able to join Manchester.. At that time the Kings should have a little bit of a logjam at left wing (holy shit!) with Dustin Brown, Matt Frattin, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Tanner Pearson, and Maxim Kitsyn all under team control. Lombardi has been developing a type for his left wingers: he wants someone big to be the first man in on the forecheck and win the puck battles along the boards. Zykov fits that mold perfectly.

Zykov should grow a little bit (he's currently 6'0") and fill out (although he's over 200 lbs. already). It's unfortunate, as Zykov has already proven to be a deadly goal scorer in Junior and is ready for a season in Manchester, but hopefully he doesn't learn any bad habits this season. Keep an eye out for Zykov at the 2014 World Junior Championships, where he should be getting regular shifts for Team Russia.

The future is bright for our young Russian friend. I'm very arou excited!