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There aren’t any major updates regarding the Los Angeles Kings this week, though there are a few minor notes:
BYFIELD AND SPENCE INVITED TO CANADA’S WJC SELECTION CAMP
Kings prospects Quinton Byfield and Jordan Spence were invited to Canada’s World Juniors selection camp this week. Byfield will be a returning player for the team, while this would be Spence’s first time playing in the tournament, should he make the team.
PROSPECTS OFF TO A STRONG START IN SWEDEN
A trio of Kings prospects are all off to strong starts in Sweden. Forward Lias Andersson and defenseman Helge Grans are both playing in the SHL, where Andersson has six points in eight games, while Grans has six points in 11 games. Carl Grundstrom also has six points in eight games while playing in Sweden’s second-highest league.
As for this week’s polls, here are the results and my thoughts on how they turned out:
QUESTION: Would you rather the Kings have made the trade for Olli Maatta or re-signed Ben Hutton?
Traded for Olli Maatta: 73%
Re-signed Ben Hutton: 27%
Honestly, I would’ve been fine with either decision here. Considering the Kings didn’t give up anything for Maatta and they’re somewhat comparable players who will be partnered with Drew Doughty, I think either option would’ve worked for the Kings.
QUESTION: Where will Gabriel Vilardi start the 2020-21 season?
Second-line center: 70%
Third-line center: 25%
Middle-six winger 3:%
In the AHL: 2%
As the results overwhelmingly suggest, Vilardi is pretty much a lock to take on either the second or third-line center role. As I suggested in the article and the majority of readers voted, Vilardi could definitely get an opportunity centering the second line to start the year.
QUESTION: Where do you see Helge Grans fitting into the Kings' lineup long-term?
Top-four defenseman: 80%
Bottom-pairing defenseman: 14%
Doesn’t make/stay in the NHL: 6%
Like 80 per cent of readers voted, Grans is certainly trending to be a top-four NHL defenseman. He was a steal for the Kings at 35th overall and is already finding success playing professional hockey in Sweden.
QUESTION: What do you think Akil Thomas' role will be with the Kings long-term?
Middle-six forward: 54%
Top-six forward: 24%
Bottom-six forward: 15%
Doesn’t make/stay in the NHL: 7%
I agree with the 78 per cent of voters who feel Thomas will be a top-nine forward. That said, while I also think that he’ll be more of a middle-six forward I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thomas develop into a top-six forward either.
QUESTION: Will Jordan Spence make Canada’s WJC roster?
This could go either way and while Spence has a shot at making the team for sure, I think I’m on the ‘No’ side here. Spence is a no doubt a capable defender but there will be a lot of very strong defensemen competing for spots as well.
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