Two days, two articles published by Dom Luszczyszyn at The Athletic.
In today’s edition, he put together his NHL offseason improvement rankings, from 1-32. He has the Kings at No. 10 on his list, with only the Seattle Kraken (No. 2) and Anaheim Ducks (No. 6) as teams from the Pacific Division ahead of Los Angeles.
According to Luszczyszyn’s model, the Kings added 1.7 wins from last year.
Here’s part of Dom’s analysis:
The Kings only added one player this offseason, but it was a big one. Kevin Fiala was one of the biggest fish on the trade market, coming off a breakthrough year where he scored 85 points. The dynamic winger is a rare three-win winger, one who adds an incredible offensive punch, and he couldn’t have found a better fit than the Kings. This team needed a Fiala-type badly. Los Angeles is a team on the rise and the addition of Fiala takes the team up a notch where a playoff berth becomes much more certain.
With players exiting this offseason, namely Andreas Athanasiou, Olli Maatta, and Troy Stecher, the Kings have added just $1.4 million in salary. That doesn’t include the pay increases that defensemen Mikey Anderson and Sean Durzi will receive in their next contracts, though. The two RFA’s remained unsigned.
Rounding to the nearest whole number, another two wins this season would have the Kings finishing with 103 points, improving off last year’s 99 points.
Los Angeles hasn’t finished with over 100 points since the 2015-16 season (102 points) and has only accomplished that feat five times in franchise history.
As noted yesterday, a lot hinges on Kevin Fiala’s and Adrian Kempe’s success, proving last year was not a fluke season for their respective teams. The duo figures to play on a line together in 2022-23.
Here’s where the rest of the Pacific Division ranked:
2. Seattle Kraken (+4.1 wins)
6. Anaheim Ducks (+3.7 wins)
11. Edmonton Oilers (+1.7 wins)
13. Vancouver Canucks (+1.3 wins)
22. San Jose Sharks (-2.1 wins)
27. Calgary Flames (-3.2 wins)
29. Vegas Golden Knights (-4.0 wins)