2015-2016 Season Review: Dwight King
It was all smiles for Dwight King this year. Because it always is. Also, he was injured.
- 4.4 Shots/60 at 5-on-5: This is the lowest among forwards on the Los Angeles Kings. This is way down from his prior year, when he played mostly with Carter and Toffoli while the Kings dealt with Pearson's injury. With his career average at 6.0 shots per 60, we have to hope this was just struggles coming back from injury. Fortunately for him, Dwight covered it up by scoring once every seven shots. Though a career shooting percentage of 10% is nothing to scoff at there.
- 0.31 Primary Assists/60 at 5-on-5: Trevor Lewis. Andy Andreoff. Dwight King. These men are where scoring chances go to die. Dwight has never been strong in this regard either. It seems as though his career arc could dry up quite quickly if his fortunate shooting numbers take a dive.
- 0 Power Play Points: Dwight King received nearly 19 minutes of power play time, which he did absolutely nothing with. For reference, Nick Shore had two assists in roughly the same amount of time. What's also fun is that in 156 minutes of regular season career power play time, Dwight King has never scored a goal. It's a good thing he appears to be a decent penalty-killer.
- -3.9% Corsi Rel (5v5): This is perhaps one of the most worrisome numbers. Dwight is a positive career player and usually holds his own, though perhaps it is to be expected for this to drop with poor teammates. We already know that he doesn't shoot much and isn't the most adept passer. This is another category where we'd have to hope it was just post-injury recovery.
- 1.9 Million: That's Dwight King's cap hit for the final year of his two year deal. The Kings can walk away from him as a player if this year doesn't go well, though they may find it hard to part with the teacher's pet. It is also probably a tradeable contract. With Michael Mersch trying to emerge as a contender on left wing and Tanner Pearson needing a new contract, there's no doubt that someone is going to be expendable.
It was a tough year for the usually durable King, who played just 47 games this year thanks to an injury in a pre-season game. With the acquisition of Milan Lucic and a healthy Tanner Pearson, there was just no place in the King's top six for King anymore. Still, Dwight managed to do quite well on the score sheet, turning over 14% of his shots into goals. The problem would be that certainly isn't sustainable given his career numbers, and his shots totals were atrociously low.
Still, King has proved himself a near-model third liner for the Kings. While physical, he is not careless or prone to taking emotional penalties. He plays most things safe, and that's why the coach likes him. The questions about his recovery from injury are certainly serious though, given his dip in play and significant dive in possession numbers. His scoring chance numbers are even worse. If he can rebound, then he's a great bottom six winger to have around. If not, he seems a prime-candidate for a loyalty re-signing, the numbers be damned.
It's hard to pick a specific lowlight for poor Dwight. He was injured in a preseason game and was out for months as a result. When he came back, he had to play with the bottom of the Kings' lineup. The only numbers that look that good are probably with a nice helping of luck. Fortunately, it could have all been difficulty coming back from injury. Or maybe 2016-2017 is just more of the same.
At the conclusion of this season, Dwight King is an unrestricted free agent. He provides good value at a $1.9M cap hit, even if some of his numbers don't rebound. This is definitely a prove-it year for Dwight, and the fact that Toffoli and Pearson need new contracts could easily mean there simply won't be space for him outside of a stellar year. Let's take a moment to remember his smiling face now just in case this is goodbye.
He may be the teacher's favorite, but hard working students get Cs too.
Grade Dwight King's 2015-2016 Season