Entering his first season with his new team, the excitement is palpable for what Viktor Arvidsson can bring to the LA Kings. TheScore agrees.
As the start of the NHL regular season inches closer, more news outlets are projecting their picks across the board. For one of the more established hockey outlets, the Toronto-based TheScore, some LA Kings are receiving some respectable attention entering the 2021-22 campaign.
In particular, it’s one of the newer LA Kings getting some love as Viktor Arvidsson has been chosen by TheScore as one of its five bounce-back candidates this season.
Coming off a 10-goal, 25-point performance in 2020-21, Viktor Arvidsson’s numbers are very decent. By the Swedish forward’s own standards, though, not so much. After all, Arvidsson’s aforementioned goals and points totals were both the lowest since the 2015-16 season.
Arvidsson was traded to the Kings back on Jul. 1, and while his decline in offensive production may have been a factor, it is notable to point out his hefty price tag at $4.25 million over the next three seasons. The latter, of course, bore little concern for the Kings, who boasted plenty of cap room entering this past off-season.
Nevertheless, the Kings were high on Arvidsson when they acquired him from the Nashville Predators and, if this preseason has been any indication, it appears as if the silver-and-black’s new No. 33 won’t have much trouble fitting in with his new club.
Hockey is fun, ask Viktor Arvidsson. 😁 pic.twitter.com/5VqX8a2ENb
— LA Kings (@LAKings) September 25, 2021
While his previous two seasons may not have been much to write home about, Arvidsson’s posted an impressive 53.17 percent in expected-goals-for and will likely be on a line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown this season.
Both are two of the Kings’ most seasoned veterans, yes, but both are also well-established in the possession game, which should help the new King turn a new leaf.
Additionally, while he has struggled offensively over the past couple of seasons, the 28-year-old did suffer two blown MCLs during the 2019-20 campaign, and returning early from those ailments may have factored towards his decline. Nevertheless, the 2021-22 season marks a brand new chapter for Arvidsson.
So, whether you agree with TheScore or not, it is nonetheless worth considering how strong of an opportunity Viktor Arvidsson has to return to form and perhaps meet or exceed his career-high total of 34 goals — from 2018-19 — and his career-high marks of 61 points — accomplished twice between 2016 and 2018.
But, with a new landscape and with a team with a promising future trajectory, Arvidsson may be one of the most fascinating players to watch this season donning the silver-and-black.
Only time will tell.
The LA Kings begin the 2021-22 season on Oct. 14 when they play host to the Vegas Golden Knights.