Cale Makar, Avalanche
The reigning Calder Trophy winner, Cale Makar, is a legitimate scoring threat on the Avalanche’s blue line. Drafted fourth overall in 2017, Makar and Bowen Byram will form a dynamic pairing one day. The former scored 12 goals with 38 assists and a +12 rating in 57 games last year.
He’s an excellent puck facilitator, but he’s also clutch, with four game-winning goals during his rookie campaign. He just turned 22 years old and is only going to get better. Makar was excellent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring four goals with 11 points in 15 games. In two career games against the LA Kings, he has yet to record a point. That will change in 2021.
Kyle Clifford, Blues
Kyle Clifford is the only non-first rounder in this list, but he will always have a special place in LA Kings fans’ hearts. Drafted 35th overall in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft, the 29-year-old won two Stanley Cups in Los Angeles. While he’s not a major point-producer, Clifford is the veteran presence a team like the St. Louis Blues needs, especially with their captain Alex Pietrangelo departing in free agency.
Last season, Clifford scored seven goals and 17 points split between the LA Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs. When he returns to the Staples Center, expect a well-deserved tribute video.