As the 2019 NHL Entry Draft approaches, the Los Angeles Kings have their work cut out for them, including making decisions on two first-round picks: the fifth pick and the 22nd pick, thanks to the Toronto Maple Leafs. From now until the draft, the staff of Jewels from the Crown will be taking a look at some draft-eligible players to help introduce some young men who could very possibly be future Kings.
“With the fifth pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings select, from the Kootenay Ice, Peyton Krebs.”
Okay, I hear you draft experts … the fifth pick is way too high for some projected on the bubble of the top 10 in June’s draft. However, stranger things have happened, especially when the Los Angeles Kings are on the clock. As a 17-year-old captain, Krebs is a viable offensive threat and playmaker who had to carry one of the worst WHL teams all year. But, before we get into the strengths and weaknesses, let’s get the basics out of the way…
HOCKEY CARD STATS
Born: June 26, 2001 (Age 17)
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Weight: 181 lbs.
2018-19 Season: Kootenay ICE (WHL)
Regular Season: 64 Games, 68 Points (19G, 49A), 63 PIM
#10—NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (North American Skaters)
All of the stat nerds (that’s a compliment and not an insult) will look at Krebs’s 1.06 points per game 2018-19 season and try to make sense of his minus 50 rating. The analysis generally comes up with nothing except that the Kootenay ICE was one of the worst WHL teams in recent history. Not only was the ICE outscored by almost 150 goals on the season, but Krebs may have been skating alone out there. He carried the burden of the team’s offense tallying almost 40 per cent of Kootenay’s goals and outscored his nearest teammate by 20 points.
Krebs is a high-energy offensive threat who also finds time in his game to hunt down the puck and remain a presence in the defensive zone. He has a low release with virtually no drawback on his shot which wreaks havoc on goalies. He is an exceptional skater, creating chances in transition which opens up his playmaking skills. Krebs kills penalties and has a feisty side which teammates will love and opponents will hate.
With a high-end ability to change directions in a blink of an eye, he’s extremely difficult to defend in one-on-one situations. Krebs has superior stickhandling, making moves at top speed and creating passing lanes with rapid movements.
Although ranked highly in all three zones, one has to wonder if her can build enough muscle to his thin-ish frame to compete in the new 200-foot NHL. He needs to add some muscle to his frame in the coming years in order to improve play along the boards. Offensively, he only lacks a decent one-timer which could affect his power play time at the next level.
“He’s a very mature kid. He does everything possible off ice to make himself better. He goes full out effort all the time on the ice. He’s skilled, he can skate, he can make so many plays. I expect him to be an explosive top-six forward in the NHL.”— James Patrick, ICE coach
WHY THE KINGS SHOULD TAKE A PASS
While Krebs is projected to be a Mathew Barzal type, I cannot see the Kings trading up, sacrificing picks and any of the remaining trade bait pieces they have to get him at the 10-11-12 spot. Let’s hope Rob Blake sticks to the plan to pick whomever is left at five from players like Bowen Byran, Kirby Dach, or Cole Caufield.