LA Kings: Team’s three most improved players in 2021

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports) /
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LA Kings Dustin Brown
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings have been surprising a lot of people with their recent play. The improvement of these players is a big reason why.

After a quiet offseason, the LA Kings‘ hope for the 2021 season was always to see improvement come from within.

Though they struggled early on in the season, lately, they’ve been starting to see that improvement. A six-game winning streak has vaulted LA back into contention in the West Division and made this season a lot more interesting.

As a team, the LA Kings play has gotten much better, but it’s been these three players in particular whose improvement has stood out this year.

1. Dustin Brown

You don’t usually expect to see a 36-year-old show up on any most improved lists, but it’s actually been the veterans who’ve been leading the way for the Kings season, and Dustin Brown‘s resurgence is becoming a great story.

Brown has scored 11 goals in 18 games. No one else on the Kings has scored more than five. His 17 points trail only Anze Kopitar‘s 21 for the team lead. He’s still a physical presence, too, leading the team with 38 hits. If you’re into plus/minus, he leads the team there, too, at +9.

Brown already has as many goals this year as he did in 82 games in each of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Brown’s days as a high-level offensive contributor looked like they were over a long time ago, and his contract was looking like a real problem.

Suddenly, LA’s oldest and longest-tenured player is a key member of the team again.