LA Kings: Jordan Spence is playing on another level

LA Kings 2019 fourth-round pick Jordan Spence has taken his game to another level this season with the Moncton Wildcats.

The LA Kings have done such an excellent job of drafting players in recent years. Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti continues to find gems outside of the first two rounds, where the picks are more or less straightforward. We are talking about Jordan Spence, who was selected with the 95th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The defenseman hails from Sydney, Australia, and exploded onto the scene with the Summerside Western Capitals of the MJAHL. During the 2017-2018 season, Spence scored 13 goals with 39 assists for 52 points in 50 games. He also chipped in 17 points (4 G, 13 A) in just 12 games in the playoffs.

That performance propelled the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL to take him with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 Draft. In a 68-game sample size, a 17-year-old Spence tallied six goals with 43 assists in 68 games. Those numbers caught the attention of the LA Kings, and he has continued to get better every year.

Last year, he scored nine goals with 43 assists for 52 points in 60 games. Two of his goals came on the man advantage. But through 11 games of the 2020-2021 season, Spence already has five goals with 10 assists, including three power play goals. In a 68-game schedule, he’s on pace to score 30 goals with 62 assists.

Of course, I don’t expect him to put up those kinds of numbers, but he’s such an excellent facilitator of the puck that his assist total could get pretty lofty. Having said that, Spence is shooting the puck twice as much (10.4 percent) as he was last season (5.2 percent).

Back on October 30, Spence scored a hat trick in Moncton’s 7-6 win.

Spence figures to play for the Ontario Reign at some point next season. Depending on the numbers he posts, there is the very real scenario that Jordan Spence is in an LA Kings’ sweater on Opening Night of the 2022-2023 season.

He’s a right-handed shot, and while Drew Doughty, Matt Roy, and Sean Walker occupy the right side pairings, Walker’s team-friendly contract makes him tradeable if the Kings need to free up a roster spot.

Much of the focus has been on Tobias Bjornfot, Mikey Anderson, and Kale Clague to bolster the defense. But it looks like Jordan Spence is the next player on the watch list to make an impact at the NHL level for the Kings. He’s off to a tremendous start to the 2020-2021 season.