Trending Upward: LA Kings Bound to Rebound in 2018-2019

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Jeff Carter #77 and Tyler Toffoli #73 of the Los Angeles Kings laugh during warm up before the game against the Calgary Flames at Staples Center on October 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Jeff Carter #77 and Tyler Toffoli #73 of the Los Angeles Kings laugh during warm up before the game against the Calgary Flames at Staples Center on October 11, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 10: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Paul LaDue (38) skates with the puck during the NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning on February 10, 2018 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL – FEBRUARY 10: Los Angeles Kings defenseman Paul LaDue (38) skates with the puck during the NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and Tampa Bay Lightning on February 10, 2018 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Paul LaDue – LaDue showed his offensive prowess this season when called upon. Though he only played in 12 games (10 less than his previous season) LaDue managed 3 goals and 4 points which is pretty solid as a rookie defenseman.

LaDue continues to grow into a strong top 4 right-handed defenceman and it is his handedness that gets him a spot alongside Jake Muzzin.

While there are many defensive prospects for the LA Kings, LaDue is the only right-hand shot an attribute coveted by the NHL for the time being. LaDue beats out Brickley, Fantenberg, and MacDermid because of this.

LaDue’s numbers look a little odd compared to his totals in other leagues point to him being the setup guy, consistently doubling his goals in assists.

Whether it’s a change of style for LaDue to better fit into a Slava Voynov “get the puck to the net” role or if his shots weren’t able to be redirected in front it’s an interesting statistic to look at when judging how he’ll end this season.

LaDue is still growing and we all know the saying “it takes longer for defensemen to mature”. LaDue is 25 this year and it will be his first shot to make the team for the entire season.

LaDue playing a full season on the second pairing with a reliable defenseman like Jake Muzzin could see him score around 10-15 goals and 25-30 points if he keeps firing that puck at the net and can get an entire season under his belt.

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