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Los Angeles Kings Prospects Update: NHL Equivalencies

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Now that the hockey season is a couple months old, it's time to start checking in on how LA's prospects are faring. Are there any glimmers of hope in LA's much-maligned prospect pool?

We'll use Rob Vollman's NHLe as our best tool for comparing prospects in different leagues. Note that NHLe has several limitations--it doesn't adjust for ice time or quality of linemates, it tells us nothing about how good a player is defensively, and this early in the season sample size is of course a huge issue. Nonetheless, because it adjusts for quality of league it is useful as a rough barometer of a prospect's offensive potential.

For a more detailed view of LA's AHL prospects, check out Sheng's Ontario Reign fancystats. On Jewels from the Crown you can also find NHLe rankings for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.


LA Prospects NHLe (sortable)

Name Age Pos League GP G A P P/GM League Translation Factor NHLEG NHLEA NHLEP
Mike Amadio 19 C OHL 25 15 21 36 1.44 0.32 16 22 38
Justin Auger 21 RW AHL 17 3 5 8 0.47 0.47 7 11 18
Jonny Brodzinski 22 RW AHL 17 0 2 2 0.12 0.47 0 5 5
Andrew Crescenzi 23 C AHL 16 1 6 7 0.44 0.47 2 14 16
Alexander Dergachyov 19 C KHL 21 2 0 2 0.1 0.8 6 0 6
Nic Dowd 25 C AHL 17 1 11 12 0.71 0.47 2 25 27
Adrian Kempe 19 LW AHL 17 7 6 13 0.76 0.47 16 14 30
Maxim Kitsyn 23 LW ECHL 20 6 10 16 0.8 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Dominik Kubalik 20 LW Czech 25 15 8 23 0.92 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Joel Lowry 24 LW AHL 5 0 0 0 0 0.47 0 0 0
Jake Marchment 20 C OHL 20 10 8 18 0.9 0.32 13 10 23
Michael Mersch 22 LW AHL 17 11 2 13 0.76 0.47 25 5 30
Matthew Mistele 20 LW OHL 20 8 9 17 0.85 0.32 10 12 22
Matt Roy 20 D WCHA 15 2 5 7 0.47 0.44 5 12 17
Scott Sabourin 23 RW AHL 17 2 2 4 0.24 0.47 5 5 10
Matt Schmalz 19 RW OHL 26 5 8 13 0.5 0.32 5 8 13
Austin Wagner 18 LW WHL 25 9 11 20 0.8 0.27 8 10 18
Spencer Watson 19 LW OHL 28 16 15 31 1.11 0.32 15 14 29
Valentin Zykov 20 RW AHL 17 3 2 5 0.29 0.47 7 5 12
Erik Cernak 18 D OHL 17 3 5 8 0.47 0.32 5 8 13
Nick Ebert 21 D AHL 13 0 4 4 0.31 0.47 0 12 12
Kevin Gravel 23 D AHL 17 2 4 6 0.35 0.47 5 9 14
Steven Johnson 21 D Big 10 8 0 5 5 0.63 0.35 0 18 18
Paul LaDue 23 D NCHC 16 1 4 5 0.31 0.41 2 8 10
Zachary Leslie 21 D AHL 4 0 2 2 0.5 0.47 0 19 19
Alex Lintuniemi 20 D ECHL 8 0 5 5 0.63 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Vincent LoVerde 26 D AHL 17 1 7 8 0.47 0.47 2 16 18
Kurtis MacDermid 21 D AHL 17 2 3 5 0.29 0.47 5 7 12
Jacob Middleton 19 D OHL 27 3 10 13 0.48 0.32 3 10 13
Chaz Reddekopp 18 D WHL 27 4 7 11 0.41 0.27 3 6 9
Alex Roach 22 D ECHL 19 2 10 12 0.63 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Damir Sharipzyanov 19 D OHL 13 1 4 5 0.38 0.32 2 8 10

Some thoughts:

  • The big standout here is obviously Mike Amadio, who leads this list not only alphabetically but also in NHLe! Given that the 2014 third-round pick scored at rather mediocre rate in his draft year and was probably selected for his defensive rather than offensive potential, this is a pleasant surprise. I listed Amadio as a center, but he's played a lot of right wing the past couple years as well.
  • Mersch and Kempe both look pretty decent, but I think Mersch is further ahead than NHLe implies. His shooting percentage (13%) seems to me quite a bit more sustainable than Kempe's (19%). Mersch is shooting much more than Kempe (82 SOG and 37 iSC to Kempe's 37 and 11). Mersch's line is also doing much better by the Corsis (meticulously tracked by Sheng), and I think it's likely that Mersch is unlucky to have only two assists.
  • Spencer Watson remains an underrated Kings prospect, although at 5'8" and 170 pounds he'll likely have to become even more dynamic offensively than this if he ever wants to crack LA's NHL roster.
  • No ECHL-to-NHL conversion factor exists, and that's because players very rarely jump between the leagues. In fact, players who spend significant amounts of time in the ECHL very rarely make the NHL, period.
  • A rough start for Jonny Brodzinski, who has done pretty well by NHLe in years past. But the AHL season is young yet.
  • NHLe has not thought much of Valentin Zykov in the past (24 NHLe in 2013-14, 23 in 2014-15), and it likes him even less this year. Part of the issue is that Zykov has not gotten much ice time in his first AHL season. With his offensive talent you have to imagine he will eventually find his way into the Reign's top six.
  • No one really knows how good the Czech Extraliga is relative to the NHL (I would guess: not very), so that makes Dominik Kubalik's season hard to assess. He does lead his team in scoring despite being its second-youngest player.
  • I wouldn't worry too much about Alexander Dergachyov's modest point total. He's averaging only 5:30 TOI--perfectly understandable for a teenage rookie on one of the KHL's best teams--and his shot production appears to be pretty good in those limited minutes.
  • Unlike two years ago, when Brayden McNabb was clearly way ahead of the pack, right now NHLe is not much help in untangling LA's glut of AHL defensive prospects. It seems like Nick Ebert and Zach Leslie (perhaps the two prospects with the most offensive potential) are struggling to find regular minutes in Ontario.
  • Overall, having just three prospects crack 30 NHLe is unimpressive. For comparison, during the 2013-14 season eight Kings prospects were over 30 NHLe. NHLe is not destiny, but it is fair to say that by this metric LA's current prospect pool is rather shallow in addition to lacking top talent.