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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our choices for most underrated player on the Los Angeles Kings.
The former 7th round pick quietly put together a very strong campaign in his first full NHL season.
Los Angeles, as we all know, was not a good team. Only three sides picked up fewer wins prior to the COVID-19 pause. Only Detroit scored fewer goals. They were very bad.
Now that we’ve re-established that, what Roy accomplished will look that much more impressive. The Kings controlled 56% of the 5v5 shot attempts with Roy on the ice, which is a remarkably strong number.
It wasn’t just low percentage garbage either. Roy helped LA control the quality, with the Kings getting 54% of the chances and nearly 56% of the expected goals during Roy’s time on the ice.
Those numbers, importantly, turned into positive results. Roy had a +10 goal differential on a team that was -22 at 5v5. LA’s share of the goals was ~15.12% higher with Roy on the ice, up from +11.13% during his cup of coffee in 2018-19.
Not a lot went right for the Kings during this retooling year. Roy was one of the exceptions.
Dustin Brown may have had a poorer season production wise from his last couple of years but he still had some strong underlying numbers that are worth noting.
Brown finished second in even strength TOI among all Kings forwards this past season, behind Anze Kopitar but still finished with 3 more EV goals than Kopitar (16 to 13). Of all players on the Kings who played at least 50 games, Brown finished 4th in ES/P60.
In the now 35 year old Brown's last 9 seasons, this year represented the forward's second best even strength goal scoring season. The big drop off this year came on the powerplay where Brown was utilized in a different position and only scored one PP goal versus the 9 he scored in the past two seasons.
Brown has sometimes been a polarizing figure with the Kings but at 35 years old, the forward has still found ways to be productive on a weaker LA team.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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