Why LA Kings’ forward Alex Iafallo cannot afford regression year

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Alex Iafallo
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

What Stands Out

Throughout the first three years, Iafallo has done a tremendous job creating turnovers in the offensive zone. With the puck, he keeps his head up, looking for teammates who are providing support on odd-man rushes, either dishing it off or sniping one on net. Away from the puck, he’s been excellent at putting himself in favorable spots to receive tap-ins next to the net.

Iafallo has created a signature move to set up camp at the left dot and let players behind the net find him for a quick one-timer on net. He’s not an overly physical forward, but he’ll knock a player down to keep him away from the puck (see Winnipeg’s Josh Morrissey in November 2017).

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Why This Matters

Alex Iafallo is the only member on the Kings roster set to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. To this point, the organization has been the benefactor of an affordable contract for a productive player. He’ll turn 27 in December. With a strong 2020-2021 season, Iafallo could be looking at a four-year deal exceeding $4M AAV, which will be a significant increase from the $2.4M AAV he’s making on his current contract.

Iafallo has done a great job of becoming an impact player for the LA Kings to this point. A season similar to the one in 2019-2020 will establish him as a piece for the next few years as members of the prospect pool graduate to the NHL.