Here are some fascinating facts about Nick Shore:
-His favorite color is beige.
-Growing up, Nick Shore always wanted to be a middle school principal.
-Nick loves a nice piece of white bread, quickly dunked in a glass of ice water.
-Do you like wood? Nick Shore does. Not pine, though. Too flashy.
The dude is boring, is what I'm trying to say. Nick Shore is the Toyota Camry of prospects. Even look at where he's located: #12. Right in the middle. His best attributes are defense and faceoffs, the two most boring things to be good at. He's probably really good at opening the bench door, too. Boring boring boring.
And yet, Nick is also likely to be an LA King in the future. Why? What makes him better than Andrei Loktionov, Linden Vey, Jordan Weal and all the other centers that have tried and failed to crack the team the last 5 years. Let's take a look:
Nick Shore turned 21 on the 26th of September. (Did Sutter sing him happy birthday? No. Shore probably told him it would be too extravagant.) In his age 20 season, he scored 38 points in 68 games, good for 5th on the team. He did this without playing with any of the players above him, which is nice to see. Shore's ppg pace in his age 20 season actually compares pretty well to Loktionov, Vey and Weal:
Loktionov- .91 (!)
Loktionov would only play in 34 games that season because of call ups and a shoulder injury that would not haunt him for the rest of his career. (*weeps) So Shore is pretty comparable to Vey & Weal as a 20-year old; Vey benefited from playing with Toffoli & Pearson and having Loktionov distract the opposing team on the way to 67 points in 74 games as a 21-year old, while Weal benefited from playing with Brian O'Neil and now Vey taking attention away from him to score 70 points in 76 games.
So the key is that Shore is on the same track as Weal & Vey as long as he doubles his point production in one season while playing with players that aren't as good as the ones the other two got to play with. No big deal.
Even if one considers Shore comparable offensively to Loki, Weal & Vey, the question is: why would he succeed where 2 of the 3 have failed. (Weal is 100% going to make it, though.) The answer, of course, lies in 3 things:
Size- Nick Shore is bigger. Not too big; that would be ostentatious. But bigger.
Defense- Shore is a honestly a very good defensive player. He plays defense like it's his job, not something he has to do to get back on offense. He performed very well against the last 2 games, I thought, and didn't look out of place. He could not progress at all and become a solid 4th liner for the Kings.
Faceoffs- The Kings give a shit about these, for some reason. Shore has generally had good faceoff numbers, although finding season numbers for the AHL is impossible.
So yeah, there's Nick Shore. He's there! Right there! Don't you see him? Shore needs to have a similar boost in offensive performance like Weal & Vey had before him to be anything more than a 4th liner. The Kings seem to have designs on him becoming the next Jarret Stoll, which makes sense because Stoll is boring as fuck on the ice too when he's not making Fear the Fin melt down. (Off the ice Jarret Stoll is a millionaire playboy rogue, at least.) Weal & Shore are the latest 2 prospects that will battle it out before the Kings trade them for picks and sign Torrey Mitchell or something.