Kings Depth Chart (5): Stay-at-home Defensemen
There's obviously some latitude in these categories. I could easily have labeled Muzzin, Forbort, Kolomatis or Mullen, but the truth is they're betwixt and between, as they say. My criteria for inclusion here is that the player needs at least to be able to fill the stay-at-home role. As with the previous depth-chart posts, () means they're RFA, (()) means they're UFA and  means they're unsigned draft picks.
- Scuderi is the gold-standard for stay-at-home d-men. Experienced, responsible, smart, calm, gets his shot through every once in a while, and is capable of making three or four spectacular saves in last seconds of game seven of the cup finals. Not for us, but what the hell.
- He's signed for two more years.
6'3", 212, shoots left
- Mitchell had a great year as Scuderi, Jr..
- He's signed for one more season.
6'4", 234, shoots right
- Bigger, slower and more prone to bone-headed penalties than Scuderi or Mitchell.
- He's got three more years on his contract.
- I also think he's the defenseman most likely to be traded.
- Although maybe that's just because I've been thinking a lot about upgrading team speed, and the idea of swapping out Greene, Kevin Westgarth and (after 2011-12) Ryan Smyth and Dustin Penner, and replacing them with Viatcheslav Voynov and/or Nicolas Deslauriers, Andrei Loktionov, Oscar Moller, Brandon Kozun (or pick your favorite road-runner) is kind of appealing.
6'2", 218, shoots left
- I think of Drewiske as padawan Scuderi, but I don't know if he'll ever rise to be a Jedi master.
- Right now, his best feature is that he can be a healthy scratch for months on end. He's got another two years on his deal.
- If Peter Harrold moves on, I can see Drewiske sticking around simply because he's a dutiful spare.
- I thought he looked great during his cup of coffee this past season, and that's not just because I said he had a good shot of making the team over a year ago. Muzzin falls into that hybrid category for me because he's big-ish, he hits heavy, he's got a nasty streak, but he's got some offensive chops, too. He is capable of playing on the power-play (or at least I think I remember him doing that at the Soo).
- With Scuderi, Mitchell, Greene, Johnson, Doughty and Martinez hogging the top six, I don't see where Muzzin fits right now, unless it's in the press box; and that seems like a waste.
- My guess is he starts in Manchester and is the first recall in the event of inj****s to any of Scuderi, Mitchell or Greene.
- But I still think a Greene trade is possible, and that would open things up a bit.
6'3", 205, shoots left
- All but forgotten by Kings fans, Campbell finally had a decent season in Manchester.
- He's RFA on 7/1.
- His prospects improved considerably when Colten Teubert was shipped off.
- He's the only really big body in the system that's got any professional experience. For that reason, I expect he'll get a new contract.
- Whether he's ever NHL-ready is anybody's guess.
6'5", 198, shoots left
- Just finished his freshman year at University of North Dakota. Had a pretty good season, they say. I only got to see him in the NCAA Final Four, and it was hard to get a sense of him there.
- He's a huge, skinny kid who plays a very balanced game.
- I don't think we have any reason to expect him in a Kings sweater for a couple more years at least.
6'4", 175, shoots left
- Also just finished his freshman year of college.
- I think he might be Matt Greene, Jr.
- As with Forbort, I don't expect him to ripen for a few years.
5'11", 195, shoots right
5'11", 180, shoots right
- Two decent, smallish two-way defensemen. They're just two very good, smart hockey players who are standing in line behind, well, pretty much everyone, and will probably play their entire pro careers in the AHL.
What I Expect
- Scuderi and Mitchell are the designated grown-ups, keeping a watchful eye on Doughty, Johnson and whoever the third speedy guy turns out to be (Martinez, Voynov, Hickey -- and Deslauriers, but not this year barring a miracle).
- Greene is the favorite uncle who pulls a nickel out of your ear and asks you to pull his finger.
- Taking a longer view, I don't think Scuderi is going anywhere for the next several years, but the fate of Mitchell and Greene has a lot to do with the progress of Muzzin.
- I can see Muzzin taking Mitchell's place in 2012.
- I can also (sort of) see Lombardi dealing Greene this summer and letting Muzzin, Hickey and Voynov fight over two spots instead of one. Not really. That just sounds like wishful thinking on my part, which I am prone to.
- It's much more likely that Lombardi is going to stick with three adults (Scuderi, Mitchell and Greene) and three kids (Doughty, Johnson and Muztinezicky).
- The defensemen in the press box? Drewiske and Muzzin? I find it hard to imagine Lombardi keeping Voynov in LA just to be a healthy scratch. Same for Hickey. But maybe he would. He did it with Schenn.