NHLe Update: What's Left of LA's Farm System?
With one of the Kings' most highly touted prospects gone and others making the NHL jump, it's a good time to check on the rest of the crew.
Jewels From The Crown last checked in on LA's prospects back in December. Now a few months later, with the trade deadline come and gone, it's a good time to see whether the future of the Los Angeles Kings has grown any brighter. We'll use Rob Vollman's NHLe, which is a useful tool for prospect analysis because it adjusts point totals for quality of league. It should be remembered that NHLe does not adjust for age, usage, shooting luck, and so forth, nor does it tell us much about a prospect's defensive play.
First, a look back at the two right wings LA traded yesterday, Valentin Zykov and Scott Sabourin:
|Name||Age||Pos||League||GP||G||A||P||P/GM||League Translation Factor||NHLEG||NHLEA||NHLEP|
- Sabourin was not really much of a prospect, but to be fair neither is the guy the Kings got for him.
- Zykov's first AHL season, as you can see, was not going especially well. There are plenty of reasons to like him despite his low NHLe. His defensive play and possession stats (tracked by JFTC's own Sheng Peng) have gotten positive reviews. His lack of production is in part due to him not getting a lot of minutes in Ontario (though that in itself is worrying), and he's also been battling injuries. With all that said, I find the low production very concerning, especially because it is part of a larger trend with Zykov. His QMJHL scoring numbers did not progress as hoped after he was drafted./
And now, the guys who are still here. (Plus newcomer Brett Sutter!) To sort by a column, click the stat you'd like to sort by. NHLeG, NHLeA, and NHLeP stand for NHLe projected goals, assists, and points. Because so few players jump directly from the ECHL or the Czech league to the NHL, translation factors (and NHLes) are not available for players in those leagues.
Los Angeles Prospects By NHLe
|Name||Age||Pos||League||GP||G||A||P||P/GM||League Translation Factor||NHLeG||NHLeA||NHLeP|
|Steven Johnson||21||D||Big 10||27||3||7||10||0.37||0.35||3||7||11|
- I only provided Nikolai Prokhorkin's numbers for your edification; numerous reports have said he has no future in LA. Were those circumstances ever to change, however, he would probably be LA's best prospect. His name came up repeatedly in rumors as the Kings tried to finalize a trade with Edmonton for Teddy Purcell. That didn't work out, but no one would be surprised to see him officially out of the Kings organization by next offseason.
- Mike Amadio has kept up and even slightly improved his torrid scoring pace with the OHL's North Bay Battalion. I think at this point descriptors like "find" and "gem" and "steal" are not out of place for the captain. Remember that this player was probably drafted mostly for his steady defensive reputation. To see him improve so much so quickly on offense is very promising.
- Nic Dowd turns 26 in May. The vast majority of NHLers make their debuts long before that, but the Kings clearly still consider him a legitimate prospect (Lombardi recently called him "one of our best prospects"). His AHL numbers lend some credence to that notion.
- Spencer Watson has picked up his scoring pace considerably in the second half, and he's now got the second-highest NHLe projection in the organization. At his size he is going to have to score like crazy to make the NHL, but maybe he can pull it off.
- The biggest disappointment is probably Adrian Kempe, who has fallen into a prolonged slump after a strong start in the AHL. It's too early for me to start worrying much about him, though.
- NHLe is more useful in evaluating forwards than defensemen, which is just as well because it really, really does not like LA's current crop of defensive prospects.
.@M18amadio gets some national love from Pierre! pic.twitter.com/vg5H8KWJPO— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) February 29, 2016
Any thoughts to add on the current prospect pool? Tell us in the comments.