LA Kings: Three players who surprised in 2019-2020 season

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Matt Roy
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

3. Matt Roy

If Alex Iafallo is my favorite offensive player on the LA Kings, Matt Roy is that on the blue line. The Michigan Tech product was found in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Draft, and played in 25 games during the 2018-2019 campaign, scoring two goals with four assists. Slotted behind Drew Doughty on the team’s second line, Roy scored four goals with 14 assists for 18 points this past season while averaging just over 18 minutes on-ice.

His physicality and willingness to put his body in front of the puck are paramount for the Kings’ defense. I’d like to see him turn the puck over less next year, giving it away 43 times during the 2019-2020 campaign. He’s also entering a contract year, albeit he will be a restricted free agent.

Still, it’s a critical year for the 25-year-old’s development, but the base has already been established. Roy logged a 56.1 CorsiFor percentage and 4.0 CorsiRel value, and similar to Lizotte, both numbers were near the top of the Kings roster.

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As an offensive-defenseman, Roy averaged 0.26 points per game with a similar breakdown as Lizotte. He’s one of my surprise players because of how quickly he’s become a mainstay on the Kings roster, but things got off to a rocky start this year. With a -4 rating through the first three games, head coach Todd McLellan made it apparent that he needed to play better.

"“It wasn’t really a flick of the switch and all of a sudden I was just playing great, it was more of a gradual buildup,” Roy said, via LAKingsInsider. “I think that was more of it carrying over game-to-game from there. Once I focused and at the same time relaxed my game a little bit, I was able to react out there and it allowed me to be consistent.”"

Any predictions for players that could break out next year?