There have been plenty of articles and reports that indicate the perspective that Brayden Schenn is going to be looking to play the #2 center spot for the Los Angeles Kings as soon as next year. That is certainly still a very real possibility, and from everything I’ve seen (and read) about the kid, he’s going to be a beast when he finally sticks in the NHL. His dominance over the CHL, and the rest of his peers at the World Junior Championships was impressive, and with any luck he’ll continue to grow into that potential.
This article isn’t about Schenn. This article is about a guy that many had started to dismiss as irrelevant, or unimportant in the future of the Kings. Trevor Lewis was drafted #17 overall in the 2006 NHL draft, and it was the first (of many) times that Lombardi would go somewhat off the draft board to make a selection. Lewis was a talented player, but his selection that early was something of a surprise, doubly so because Lombardi dealt Pavol Demitra to the Wild in exchange for the selection.
Some expected Lewis to be an instant hit, and many fans grew impatient with his slow (seemingly nonexistent at times) development. He never seemed to show the offensive prowess that many hoped was lurking just below the surface. Plagued with injuries, his development took time. This year however, has been his break out year. Lewis emerged as a full-time contributor to the Los Angeles Kings this season, and has put in very solid performances. While he hasn’t been scoring all that much, his speed, skating ability and defensive awareness have made him a huge asset on a team that has, at times, struggled to put the puck in the net.
And then last week, tragedy struck. OK, not tragedy, but certainly a major bummer happened. The Kings lost Kopitar right on the heels of losing Williams, and all of a sudden Trevor Lewis was thrust from a defensive first (only?) role on the 3rd or 4th lines, all the way to line 2. Instead of pairing with the likes of Clifford, Westgarth, Richardson and whomever Murray has put there, he’s centering a line with Brown and Smyth.
So how did he perform? Well in game 1 of that role, the only way to answer that is… spectacularly. The Kings scored two goals against the Oilers, and Lewis had the first assist on both of them (well done to Brown with the two goals as well). If that’s not a great result, I’m not sure what is. If Lewis can build on the results, he could maintain his spot above Schenn in the depth chart, and force Schenn to debut on the 3rd line, not the desired 2nd line for his NHL debut. Even if Lewis gets bumped back to the 3rd line, he frees up the Kings to make some moves. It’s a great development, and one that Kings fans can only hope continues.
So Lewis has 1 goal and 3 assists in the last two games. The Kings have 6 games remaining. How many points do you think Lewis will put up?