We know that a couple of Kings' prospects had a big impact on the Kings Stanley Cup run this past season, but what other young players had big seasons in the pipeline?
Now that everyone's season is over, let's take a look at the point production of LA's prospects using NHL equivalencies (or NHLe).
What is NHLe?
Through the efforts of hockey analytics big-shots Gabe Desjardins and Rob Vollman (among others) we are able to approximate a prospect's NHL equivalent point totals. Each league has different equivalency numbers which you can adjust according to a players age. Obviously, NHLe has its limitations, but it is a useful way to do a quick and dirty analysis. It is basically just a way to put all prospects spread out in various leagues on the same playing field so that you can compare them against one another. If you have any questions about the process, fire away in the comments.
Kings Prospects - NHLe
- Nikolay Prokhorkin had quite a season for CSKA Moscow of the KHL. The 20 year-old KHL All Star was converted from wing to center and went on to tie for 10th in the KHL in goals scored. He also scored the 4th most goals among centermen (KHL players who took 200 or more faceoffs). 17 of his 19 goals were scored at even strength. He led the team in points and shots on goal, despite receiving the 5th most ice time among forwards. These numbers are even more impressive when you consider former NHLers Alexander Radulov and Alexander Frolov were among his teammates. Prokhorkin is reportedly leaving the KHL, which means we'll likely see him in training camp next season. He should have a solid shot at making the Kings next year given their lack of left wing depth.
Watch Prokhorkin with some dazzling highlights here, begining at 0:55.
- Linden Vey led all Kings prospects in NHLe, and also had some great moments in his time with the big club, which lead to some glowing praise from GM Dean Lombardi. He'll be on the roster next season (barring a trade) because he'd need to clear waivers to be sent to the AHL. He's likely not going to develop into a goal scorer, as the bulk of his point totals have come in the form of assists. In fact, he even had the lowest shot rate among all players on the Kings roster this past season. However, he does offer strong two way play and some flashy playmaking ability.
- The Kings' top prospect right now might be defenseman Brayden McNabb. McNabb came in at 8th among all Kings propects in NHLe. He's known for his big, heavy hitting style but has also proven to be adept on the power play. Like Vey, he will also need to be on the roster next season or else be exposed to waivers. More on McNabb here.
- Obviously, NHLe isn't everything, as Tanner Pearson proved himself to be a very valuable member of a Stanley Cup winning roster despite being 6th on the above list. This should provide some hope that Zykov can develop into a top prospect despite his relatively disappointing point totals this past season in the QMJHL. Zykov plays a pretty similar game to Pearson. Another encouraging factor is that Zykov had a strong post-season for the Drakkar, including a 5 point game.
- The Kings have apparently had some success in drafting NCAA prospects. Even aside from the recently-traded Hudson Fasching, Jonny Brodzinski, Nic Dowd and Michael Mersch all had strong seasons. Mersch and Dowd both signed contracts with the Kings back in April and joined the Monarchs for four playoff games. They'll likely be fixtures in the Monarchs' top six next year.