The NHL recently released its list of top 250 fantasy players rankings, and the LA Kings have four forwards that made the cut.
NHL.com staff compiled their annual list of top 250 player rankings ahead of training camp and the 2021-22 regular season getting underway in mid-October.
It’s hard to believe, but the LA Kings are just over two months away from opening their season at home on October 14 against the Vegas Golden Knights.
As such, fantasy leagues around several media sites will commence their drafts in the days leading up to the puck dropping. And unlike the last couple of seasons, the Kings are likely to be represented more on fantasy teams with the recent acquisitions and development of prospects.
Here are the four forwards among the top 250 players.
35. Anze Kopitar
Just ahead of Winnipeg’s Kyle Connor and just below St. Louis’ Ryan O’Reilly, Anze Kopitar is still going strong at age 33. The LA Kings captain turns 34 at the end of the month, but he still continues to be a highly productive player.
The Jesenice, Slovenia, native collected 13 goals and 37 assists for 50 points, leading the way on the Kings roster in 2021.
He continues to receive Selke Award consideration, and the Kings added another elite defensive forward in Phillip Danault to help Kopitar with those difficult minutes heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
Projections (per ESPN): 20 goals, 49 assists, 21:06 TOI
86. Viktor Arvidsson
Acquired for two draft picks, Arvidsson was brought in to help the Kings top-six forwards achieve more scoring. The 28-year-old Swedish forward had 10 goals and 15 assists in 50 games for an underwhelming Predators team last year.
He’s a couple of years removed from back-to-back 61- and 48-point seasons. Put him on Kopitar’s wing, and the Kings have a legitimate top line capable of producing points.
Projections (per ESPN): N/A
103. Quinton Byfield
By signing Danault, the Kings crowded the centermen room further. It appeared that 2020 second-overall pick Quinton Byfield would slot into either the 2C or 3C, but now it’s unclear where he fits at the NHL level. Does he begin the year in the AHL?
Does someone on the NHL roster get moved to the wing or traded before the season?
Byfield collected eight goals and 12 assists with the Reign last season, finding his stride in March. He was called up for a six-game cup of coffee with the Kings at the end of the season, tallying just one assist.
If Byfield has a terrific training camp, there is no reason to deny him a role at the NHL level. For what it’s worth, NHL has him ranked just behind 2020 No. 3 overall pick Tim Stutzle.
Projections (per ESPN): N/A
128. Dustin Brown
The soon-to-be 37-year-old Dustin Brown is entering the final year of his contract. Will he be back beyond the 2021-22 season? Will he play with Anze Kopitar the entire season? Can he match or best his point production from the abbreviated 56-game schedule? A lot of questions to be monitored as the year unfolds.
But there’s no denying that Brown’s leadership is still clearly valued on this squad. It doesn’t hurt that he led the team with 17 goals, including nine on the man-advantage, in 2021 as well.
With Los Angeles bringing in more established talent in the top-six forwards, look for Brown to put up some good numbers before he potentially rides off into the sunset.
Projections (per ESPN): 21 goals, 23 assists, 17:48 TOI