LA Kings: Brock Faber ‘big piece of the team here moving forward’

LA Kings (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Team USA head coach Nate Leaman had high praise for LA Kings 2020 second-round pick Brock Faber after a stellar performance against Austria.

Despite the offensive struggling to get anything going against Team Russia on Friday night, LA Kings 2020 second-round pick Brock Faber played quite well, leading all skaters with five defensive zone breakups as well as five defensive zone exits. As previously noted, the Maple Grove, Minnesota has played in just six collegiate games before entering the WJC bubble.

Team USA bounced back with a dominating 11-0 performance over Team Austria on Saturday evening. USA’s head coach Nate Leaman promoted the 18-year-old up to the second pairing with Cam York (Flyers). Faber, again, led all skaters with eight defensive zone exits, including a beautiful stretch pass to Matt Beniers that set up Team USA’s sixth goal of the night

(Play begins at 0:31 into the video below).

After the game, Leaman spoke highly about the Minnesota Golden Gophers defenseman.

"“We put him (Faber) with Cam York today and we like that pairing,” said Leaman. “So, you know, I think he’s gonna be a big piece of the team here moving forward.”“I really like his feet and I really like his strength. He has a body type where he’s very strong from the knees to his torso and and his feet are pretty elite. Then his ability to gap guys and his ability to recover and his ability to make up space.”"

Alex Turcotte and Arthur Kaliyev also had bounceback performances after disappointing showings against Russia. The latter was demoted to the second line in the second period in an effort to increase the scoring chances. Turcotte was the LA Kings’ fifth overall pick in 2019 and while it’s been a small sample size, he’s been overshadowed by 2019 ninth overall pick Trevor Zegras.

Turcotte and Zegras have formed a dynamic duo on Team USA’s top line, breaking the previous WJC record for expected points. Turcotte was credited with the first goal of the game, although several reviews later gave it to Drew Helleson.

Team USA is off for a couple of days, resuming WJC action on Tuesday against Team Czech Republic.