Here's some nice summer fodder for you
The Third Annual Top 50 NHL Players | Jeff Angus
43. Jeff Carter (36)
One of the best scorers in hockey has discovered there is more to hockey than just the offensive zone under Darryl Sutter in Los Angeles. Carter has always been an impactful player, but his stretches of strong play in Philadelphia were inter-spliced with periods of indifference. Carter may not eclipse his career-best mark of 46 goals again but he is a lock for 25-35 goals each season. His ability to jump back and forth from wing and center also boosts his value. He’s at his offensive best on the right side where he has more room to get his lethal wrist shot off, but he is a better overall player at center. He proved that once again during the recent postseason run playing in between rookies Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli.35. Jonathan Quick (37)
Quick once again stepped up his level of play when it mattered the most, and he now has a second Stanley Cup ring to add to his collection for it. His cap hit is reasonable ($5.8 million per season), although the term of his deal is not (he is signed through the 2022-23 season). Quick has been criticized by advanced stats proponents who point to his average play over a large sample size, while his supporters focus on his stellar big game moments. So how good is Quick? Is he one of the top three or four goaltenders in the league? Or is he a top 10 guy who can turn it up when he needs to?Personally I think he got the order of most important kings largely right although you could sell me on Carter over Quick if you bought me enough beer.7. Anze Kopitar (8)
Kopitar is one of the best players in hockey. He has single-handedly put Slovenia on the map for many non-European hockey fans, and at $6.8 million per season for two more years, he is a huge bargain to the Kings, too. He is a physical force on the ice, bullying opposing centers and defensemen with his size, range, and strength on the puck. Kopitar is an elite defensive forward and an elite offensive forward, too. He is incredibly durable and elevates his play in the postseason (as evidenced by his two Stanley up rings). He is one of hockey’s best possession forwards, he makes all of his teammates better, and he plays against the toughest competition among all Kings players.
He is going to be awfully expensive to extend next summer – expect his new contract to resemble the recent Kane/Toews extensions. But dominant and durable two-way centers don’t grow on trees.
“You try and describe guys [as] ‘shut-down D’ or ‘goal scorer’ or ‘grinder.’ I’ve said this before about Kopy, he’s just a hockey player,” Kings captain Dustin Brown said. “If the best play’s a pass, it’s a pass, if the best play’s a shot, it’s a shot. He’s just a complete hockey player. He doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion partly probably because of the market we’re in, his background. If he was a Canadian and played in New York, [there would] probably be more people talking about him.”
6. Drew Doughty (11)
At the age of 24, Doughty already has two Stanley Cups and two Olympic gold medals to his name. He has hit the double-digit goal total in four of his six NHL seasons, but anything he does at the offensive end of the rink is just a bonus for the Kings. Doughty is arguably the game’s top two-way defender – he is physical and can skate the puck out of problem areas, and he can (and does) log extremely tough minutes in all situations. He was a finalist for the Norris Trophy at the age of 20 and will have a few of them by the time his career wraps up. His contract is a bargain ($7 million per season through 2018-19) and will become even more of one as the cap continues to increase each season.
Former Kings teammate Willie Mitchell refers to Doughty’s phenomenal ability to move “sideways” on the ice – sometimes resembling a more physical Nicklas Lidstrom or Sergei Zubov. Doughty skates like he was born with a pair of them already on his feet.
These are good times people!