With the Los Angeles Kings’ season over, throughout the next few weeks I’ll be taking a look at each player on the team and how they performed this season. As predicted in the comments of the last article, this article will focus on Jeff Carter.
At 35 years old, Carter isn’t producing at the rate he once was but he’s still a solid veteran forward for the Kings and this year, he scored at a rate of 23 goals and 37 points per 82. While that point total isn’t anything wild, Carter was on pace for nearly 25 goals per 82, which is still strong production. He also saw a huge increase in shots per game this year from what he was averaging last season.
Los Angeles’ shooting percentage at even strength while Carter was on the ice was below 8 per cent in each of the last two seasons, so that can help to explain the lack of assists as well. Despite declining production, Carter still played on the power play (as well as the penalty kill) and averaged the fourth-most minutes per game at even strength of any Kings forward.
Considering the Kings’ depth at center, as discussed before, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Carter moved to the wing on at least a semi-permanent basis next season in order to make room for younger players down the middle. He’ll still be a middle-six forward but he may continue to see his ice time drop, like it did this season.
Carter still has two years remaining on his contract and like Dustin Brown, he’ll be able to provide some leadership to younger players as they start to push into the NHL. I’d expect him to provide around 30-40 points for the Kings next season and if he’s able to keep a pace of nearly 25 goals per 82 like he did this season, that would be a success.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
How many points do you expect from Jeff Carter next season?