Five players I’m excited to watch the LA Kings play

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Opponents Nathan MacKinnon
LA Kings Opponents (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

With the new division alignments, these five players will be exciting to watch when they play against the LA Kings in 2021.

As part of the return to play plan for the 2021 season, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to temporarily realign the divisions, exiling the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers from the Pacific Division. Instead, all Canadian teams will remain north of the border for the 56-game schedule due to ongoing issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LA Kings will be part of a hybrid West Division, welcoming in the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, and Minnesota Wild.

We previously touched on several players the Kings will avoid with the all-Canadian division. Still, they’ll be equally replaced with high-quality talent from the new teams entering the West. Let’s look at the five most exciting players the LA Kings will have to face eight times in 2021.

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche

A perennial Hart Trophy candidate, Nathan MacKinnon has blossomed into a top-five player in the NHL, and he’s only 25 years old. The first overall pick in the 2013 NHL Draft tallied 35 goals and 93 points in just 69 games last night. Combining his speed and stickhandling skills makes him one of the best power forwards in the game.

MacKinnon led the league with 318 shots on goal last season. He’s an excellent asset on the Avalanche’s first power play unit, tallying 12 goals and 19 assists a year ago. The LA Kings defense will have their hands full trying to limit MacKinnon’s production.