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: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Implications if Iafallo regresses in 2020-2021

Of course, if Iafallo shows any signs that the previous three seasons were a fluke, his long-term future in LA could be in doubt. Similar to Adrian Kempe, who has proved to be inconsistent at times, the organization could think twice about the term and dollars committed to Iafallo.

Granted, the latter doesn’t have the same expectations as a first-round pick (Kempe), but we’ve seen enough to know what Iafallo should bring to the table.

Regression from Iafallo would also leave it open to interpretation to fill his spot on the top line. On paper, guys like Arthur Kaliyev, Samuel Fagemo, or Akil Thomas (if he makes the transition to wing) appear to be on a first-line trajectory.

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While the upcoming NHL season will be an evaluation year for the LA Kings prospects, it will also be an evaluation year for Iafallo if he should continue playing on the team’s top line. Let’s say he is dropped to the second or third lines due to a lack of performance. His next contract with the organization is going to reflect it. The Kings might offer him a two-year deal worth slightly more than what he’s making right now.