During a time of rebuild in the NHL, the LA Kings find themselves ahead of where some might of thought they would be. The Kings hold third place in the Pacific Division behind the Vegas Golden Knights and Anaheim Ducks.
The Kings find themselves playing excellent hockey over the past few weeks, but the season as a whole is what people should take notice of. Three players deserve big praise as to why the Kings are in a playoff spot as we speak.
The three most valuable LA Kings at the midway point are as follows:
Phillip Danault has emerged as a leader on this team with his all-around play. He came to Los Angeles as a free agent from the Montreal Canadians and has lived up to the hype. The 6-foot-1 and 201-pounder from Victoriaville, Quebec has taken responsibility off of captain Anze Kopitar.
With Danault on the second line, Kopitar has skated more freely and created more offensive chances with less ice time and responsibility.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 12, 2021
This season Danault has 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points in 39 games but also has 28 penalty minutes and is a +13. Danault is also credited with 18 blocked shots and a winning faceoff % of 55.9%.
Brendan Lemieux came to the Kings via trade with the New York Rangers for a 4th round pick in 2021. The 6-foot-1 and 214-pound winger has played 28 games, producing 7 goals and 1 assist for 8 points, doubling his offensive output from last year, and also racking up 55 penalty minutes along with a +6.
Lemieux is going out there with a purpose (just ask Corey Perry) and will fight regardless of the opponent, agitate even the calmest opposing player, play the grinding game and even score the odd goal. He has 73 penalty minutes and 10 blocked shots.
Mikey Anderson is living up to the praise he got when he was drafted 103rd overall in the 4th round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-0, 196-pound defenseman has grown into the position already and has shown leadership skills in his short time in the NHL.
Getting high praise from teammate Drew Doughty, Anderson plays like a veteran. He is very vocal on the ice and has even spoken up in the locker room between periods, all without wearing a letter.
Anderson has recorded 2 goals and 2 assists in 39 games and a +11 and 6 penalty minutes. He has shown patience in the defensive zone, allowing his defensive to take over. He has 77 hits, 44 blocked shots, and a TOI OF 20:05.