LA Kings: Three players who exceeded expected production metrics

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 Blake Lizotte
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1. Blake Lizotte (+3.23 GF% vs xGF%)

The undrafted product out of St. Cloud State won a roster spot in training camp before the 19-20 season. Blake Lizotte tallied six goals and 17 assists in 65 games. With a -13.14 GF% to xGF%, Natural Stat Trick’s predictive model suggests that Lizotte should have put up more points in his rookie season.

In his sophomore year, the 23-year-old tallied two goals in his first four games. He landed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list for a couple of weeks that was detrimental to his season. Prior to the absence, Lizotte went four consecutive games without scoring a point.

Coming off the list, he took a bit to get his sea legs back, going nine games without tallying a point before finally recording an assist on March 8 against the Ducks.

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He finished the season with just three goals and 10 points in 41 games and missed the team’s final nine games with an upper-body injury. Still, his net +3.23 GF% vs xGF% was the best among Kings’ skaters that played in at least 20 games.

Lizotte is a restricted free agent heading into the offseason, and Evolving Hockey sees him fetching a two-year at a $1.16M AAV cap hit.

It will be interesting to see if he returns next season, given how deep the organization is up the middle. An early roster projection for the four centers likely has Kopitar, Vilardi, Byfield, and Anderson-Dolan occupying the spots.