The LA Kings off-season is in full swing, and although the disappointment in how the season ended is still there, we look forward to a promising 2022-23 season. With that said, we look at five prospects who could have an expanded role with the NHL club, with some making their debut.
Forward Martin Chromiak, a 2020 fifth-round pick (128th) overall, has the potential to be a legit yet youthful scoring threat that the Kings need. He possesses one of the more wicked shots in the organization and has a lethal one-timer. This past season for the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, he scored 44 goals and 42 assists for 86 points in only 66 games.
His bread and butter is not only his shot but the accuracy that comes with it. His most underrated skill is his passing ability. When, not if he is called up, he will greatly improve the depth scoring that is needed for Los Angeles to advance further in the post-season next year. He has the potential to be a top-six forward for the Kings.
What we know about Alex Turcotte is that he has not been healthy for most of his pro career. The former fifth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft has suffered some injuries that have cost him time and development. With skating being his biggest asset, he will fit right in with the NHL-style game.
Turcotte is a gifted playmaker and can play a regular shift as well as special teams. With the Ontario Reign of the AHL, he scored six goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 27 games, along with 20 penalty minutes. Next year is now or never for Turcotte. He already made his NHL debut, but if he does not play at least 20 games in the NHL and make an impact, he might be discussed in trade possibilities.
There needs to be a way for him to stay healthy, be a regular on the Kings, and contribute sooner rather than later.
Samuel Fagemo, a 50th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Kings, has a legit shot at making the Kings as a full-time player sooner than later. He got a taste in a four-game sample size with the Kings when the team was injury-plagued in the second half of last season. Like Chromiak, he has a booming slap shot that is both hard and accurate. His wrist shot is heavy and accurate as well.
With the Ontario Reign last year, he played in 63 games, totaling 27 goals and 17 assists for 44 points, along with 38 penalty minutes. His complete game can earn him a top-six role. Whether it is one game, twenty games, or the entire season in Ontario, Fagemo is definitely on the King’s radar as a potential game-breaking player for the organization.
Defenseman Kim Nousiainen may be a name you do not recognize right now, but he will be a force once he is a regular in the Kings lineup. A 119th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Nousiainen is very agile, defensively sound, and capable of quarterbacking a power play.
Last season with the Reign saw him post two points in 8 games, but he showed promise for a young defenseman. He could be a fit for that hole that Los Angeles has on the left side.
Defenseman Helge Grans made an impact during his first pro season with the Reign, scoring seven goals and 17 assists for 24 points in 56 games. Grans, a 35th overall pick by the Kings in the 2020 NHL Draft, skates extremely well and has an active stick.
Grans has the potential to be a power-play quarterback as well and may get that opportunity this season. He reads the play in all three zones extremely well and does not shy away about stepping up in the play. Grans may play his way to a call-up before next season is over. Although, at the moment, the right side of the defense at the NHL level is a log jam.