Los Angeles Kings: Analyzing the Play of Sean Walker

Sean Walker
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 05: Los Angeles Kings Defenceman Sean Walker (26) passes the puck during the NHL regular season game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 5, 2019, at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada. (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Sean Walker has been playing very well for the Los Angeles Kings this season. The 25-year-old right-shooting defenceman playing in his second season in L.A. has been turning some heads. The 5’11”, 196-pound blueliner has four goals, five assists in the 21 games he’s appeared in thus far this season.

Sean Walker is a Good Addition

Sean Walker is a native of Keswick, Ontario and has some pretty impressive statistics in this 2019-20 season. One such stat is his Corsi For Percentage of 55.8 and his Relative Corsi For is 5.9. Comparing him to Drew Doughty‘s same stats of 48.1, and -6.3 shows he’s doing some great stuff. Now, Doughty does play more minutes than Walker. Doughty averages 25:20 per game while Walker averages 19:07. Doughty is a seasoned veteran earning $11 million per season for the next seven years. Walker is earning $745,000 and will be a restricted free agent at the conclusion of this season. The duo has lined up as the first defensive unit this season.

His play at least thus far shows that the team has a talented young player who will deserve a new contract. They have about $4.6 million in cap space and some should be reserved to retain this player as his future seems bright for the Kings going forward.

Playing alongside Doughty will increase Walker’s game experiences and add him as an asset to the Kings defence. He is an accurate shooter hitting the target 11.8 percent of the time. He’s playing on the left side but seems to still be able to perform admirably. The fact that the coaching staff has him on the first unit’s defence says quite a bit about their opinion of his abilities.

Todd McLellan Likes What He Sees

“Walks has legs, and I think today’s defensemen, moving forward, it used to be, ‘boy, that guy makes a good first pass and he’s able to get out of trouble that way,” Todd McLellan said. “Today’s defencemen are built with that in mind. The first pass is important, the ability to break it out, but can you escape danger or forecheck or conflict using your legs? And Walks can do that, and he’s got a very good hockey engine. He can stay on the ice a long time without a lot of fatigue. At least physically, mentally, he’s still learning how to deal with situations, but he played good minutes, he played a lot of minutes and he was capable of it.”

Going Forward

Sean Walker is playing on a losing team in the middle of a rebuild. He is certainly going to be part of that rebuild. The Kings rank 29th in the NHL in offence and 27th in defence. They have a ways to go to get out of the bowels of the league standings.

Young players like Walker seem to leave the team with a positive future going forward. As his play receives more notice throughout the NHL, his potential can take this team to new heights. This is a proud team that won two Stanley Cup championships in 2011-12 and 2013-14. L.A. Kings postseason appearances have happened just twice since then. They were eliminated in the first round each time.

Sean Walker can be a key player for the Kings and can certainly help out on the blueline. He’s off to a good start with his performance this season.

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