LA Kings: Five players who had a great season
From Sean Durzi’s opening night blunder to Adrian Kempe’s hat trick in the season finale, the LA Kings had a crazy 2022-2023 season.
JUUUUUUICE 🧃@adriankempe had himself a season finale to remember as he picked up the @Enterprise hat trick AND his 40th of the season! pic.twitter.com/Tu3Zxacbp4
— NHL (@NHL) April 14, 2023
Throughout the up-and-down season, we saw some players who had great seasons and those who didn’t. Let’s look at the five players who had a great season for your LA Kings.
1. Adrian Kempe
Stats: 41 goals, 26 assists, 67 points
Adrian Kempe earned himself a nice raise in the offseason after a 35-goal season. If there were any doubt Kempe would slack off after earning his new contract or was just a one-year wonder, there shouldn’t be no more. Kempe finished his 2022-2023 campaign with 41 goals and a hat trick in the season finale. His 41 goals were the first 40-goal scorer in a sean for the Kings since Luc Robitaille in the 1993-1994 season. By looking at his JFresh card, his even-strength defense improved as well. If he keeps it up going forward, that new contract of his will look like a steal.
Adrian Kempe (26) scores his 4th consecutive goal and becomes the first player in franchise history to do so.
Kevin Fiala (37)
Drew Doughty (32)#GoKingsGo #LetsGoPens #LAKvsPIT pic.twitter.com/2uwKeSTFpY
— LA Royalty (@LARoyalty1967) February 12, 2023
2. Gabriel Vilardi
Stats: 23 goals, 18 assists, 41 points
It was a breakout year for Gabriel Vilardi after being in Todd McLellan’s doghouse for the past two years. After scoring 18 goals in the last three seasons combined, Vilradi exceeded that total by scoring 23 goals. He was one of five Kings players to record a 20-goal season, was a key figure on the first power-play unit, and found a home on the third line with Kevin Fiala and Blake Lizotte. In addition to his breakout year on offense, Vilardi was also great defensively. A restricted free agent this Summer, Vilardi will be expecting a nice payday. How much? We’ll see.
Gabriel Vilardi has some HANDS.#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/QoqV3CsMk8
— Russell Morgan (@NHLRussell) March 5, 2023
3. Matt Roy
Stats: 9 goals, 17 assists, 26 points
Steady Eddy is what they call him. Matt Roy is just a consistent defenseman that the Kings can rely on when on the ice. Roy led the Kings with 153 blocked shots and even added some offense with nine goals. He spent most of the year on the second pair with Sean Durzi and was voted the unsung hero by his teammates. He reminds me of Matt Greene, just reliable. Every team needs a player like Matt Roy, and he should be a part of the Kings’ future.
MATT ROY'S SECOND OF THE NIGHT SENDS US TO OT‼️ pic.twitter.com/llWvIHIZwQ
— x – LA Kings (@LAKings) October 19, 2022
4. Anze Kopitar
Stats: 28 goals, 46 assists, 74 points
The captain had a good season for the LA Kings by scoring 28 goals, his most since his 35-goal season in 2017-2018. For the 15th time in the last 16 seasons, Anze Kopitar led the Kings in scoring. He is a valuable player for the Kings being tasked with playing top-line minutes with top-line matchups, power play and penalty kill, defense, and leading the Kings in scoring. He often gets underappreciated for what he’s been able to do consistently for the last 16 years. We don’t know much longer Kopitar wants to keep playing, but Kings fans should enjoy every minute of it because we may not see a player like him don a Kings uniform for a while, or ever.
KOPITAR AGAIN! Anze Kopitar winds up and cranks home his 4th goal of the evening!#GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/KSycSPWEsF
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) March 1, 2023
5. Pheonix Copley
Stats: 24-6-3, 2.64 GAA, .903 save percentage
I don’t think this would classify as a great season considering his numbers, but if it wasn’t for Pheonix Copley being average and holding the fort until the Kings acquired Joonas Korpisalo, who knows how the Kings finished the season. For his efforts, the 31-year-old journeyman earned a one-year contract extension worth $1,500,000. With Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick not getting the job done and the Kings in dire need of at least average goaltending, Copley was called up from the Ontario Reign.
According to MoneyPuck, he finished the season with a 4.7 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected) which was good enough for 28th. Again, not elite numbers but for the Kings, that’s what they needed considering they couldn’t get saves from Quick or Petersen. His best moment of the season has to be wanting to challenge Anaheim Ducks netminder John Gibson to a fight.
*All JFresh Cards were made available to me by Twitter account @OliverFiglin1. Make sure to give him a follow.
Featured image credit: Jeff Robertson/Associated Press