Last Word on Hockey brings our Team of the Decade series. We will dive into the best player at each position this decade for every organization. The biggest and best at each position, with the most memorable moments of the decade. Here is the Los Angeles Kings Team of the Decade lineup.
Los Angeles Kings Decade Team
Throughout the decade, the Kings have been one of the most successful teams in the entire NHL. They have only missed the playoffs three times throughout the decade with those times coming in 2014-15, 2016-17 and 2018-19. They are also one of only three teams to have more than one Stanley Cup in the decade, winning two of them respectively in 2011-12 and 2013-14. Although the Kings are in the midst of a rebuild right now, they have a cupboard stock full of prospects that will surely make an impact in the future.
Here is a breakdown of the best Kings players of the past decade.
Left Wing: Dustin Brown
Having played his entire career with the Los Angeles Kings, Dustin Brown was an easy pick for the Kings All-Decade team. Since being drafted in the first round, 13th overall by the Kings in the 2003 NHL draft, Brown has given his all to the Kings organization. Having eclipsed the 50 point mark seven times, Brown certainly knows how to produce when needed.
Brown is a player who might not get recognition league-wide but is someone who certainly plays the game the right way. He has excellent vision and is capable of setting his teammates up with ease. He loves to use his body to win battles in the corner and around the net. When called upon, he does not shy down from a fight and is certainly still a favourite amongst fans.
Having served as captain from 2008-09 to 2015-16, Brown also has the leadership skills required to lead a young team. Every one of his teammates loves him and know they can confide in him if they ever need anything. Even though Brown’s production is slowly dwindling, he will always be celebrated as having helped bring two titles back to the L.A. area.
Centre: Anze Kopitar
Since being drafted in the first round, 15th overall in the 2005 NHL draft, no one has been more consistent for the Kings than Anze Kopitar. In 1073 games played, he has scored 333 goals and added 617 assists for 950 career points. The quiet and humble Slovenian is certainly a fan favourite which is not hard to see why.
Kopitar is one of those players that play the game the right way. Never having been one to initiate anything, Kopitar lets his play speak for itself. He has an elite vision around the net and is great at setting teammates up in the slot. At 6’4″, Kopitar uses his frame to his advantage and loves to clean up rebounds in front of the net.
Having served as captain since 2016-17, Kopitar will go down in Kings lore. Being a great leader and teammates while being a model citizen in the community, it’s hard to see anyone being able to hate Kopitar. Being a key player in their two Cup title runs, Kopitar will forever be a part of Kings history and is in strong consideration to have his number retired once he decides to hang up his skates.
Right Wing: Justin Williams
Although Justin Williams did not play the entire decade with the Kings, his impact was certainly felt during his tenure there. Helping lead the team to two Stanley Cups, “Mr. Game 7” had an immense impact on both runs. In the Kings’ Cup run in 2011-12, Williams scored four goals and added 11 assists for 15 points in 20 games played. In 2013-14, Williams was dominant, putting up 25 points in 26 games en route to winning the Conn Smythe.
Although most fans remember his memorable runs in the playoffs, Williams was certainly no slump during the regular season either. In his six seasons in the black and white, Williams’ lowest point output was 29 points in 49 games played. Williams exemplifies what it means to be a two-way player. Although he plays the wing, Williams routinely makes sure he backchecks. He makes the smart play when needed and can certainly still put the puck in the back of the net.
Having been the shortest tenured King on this list does nothing to diminish the legacy that Williams left during his time with the Kings. The playoffs are when the real players come out to play and time and time again, Williams was right in the spotlight.
Left Defenceman: Jake Muzzin
Before being traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in January of last year, Jake Muzzin was quietly one of the most consistent Kings defenders on a nightly basis. Although he didn’t play a flashy game like fellow defence partner Drew Doughty, Muzzin routinely played a solid defensive game.
Night in and night out, Muzzin gave his all on every shift. Whether that was making a huge neutral zone hit or making a simple defensive play, it was easy to see how Kings fans gravitated towards him. Muzzin’s lowest Corsi score came in 2019-19 when it was 50.5. This goes to show how effective he was at being positive to his teammates when he was on the ice.
Even though Muzzin does not play for the Kings anymore, Kings fans will forever remember him and his play. Although all great things must come to an end, Kings fans can find solace in the memories of him hoisting the Cup alongside everyone else on this list.
Right Defenceman: Drew Doughty
Depending on what team you cheer for, many people have different opinions on Drew Doughty. It is safe to say though that for Kings fans, it is all love for number eight. Since being drafted second overall in the 2008 NHL Draft, Doughty has been nothing but a beast for the Kings.
With him helping the Kings to two Stanley Cups early on in his career to now serving as a mentor to the younger players, Doughty is loved by all of his teammates. Doughty is a high energy guy who loves to get under his opponents’ skin. With his feuds with Matthew Tkachuk to getting opponents riled up, Doughty is a true pest in the eyes of some.
Doughty can also put up points as very few others can. Over his tenure with the Kings, Doughty has eclipsed the 40 point mark seven times. When called upon, Doughty is always there to provide a big hit or some much-needed momentum.
With Doughty still signed to a cap hit of $11 million well into his 30’s, he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Although the Kings have a long road ahead of them until they can contend again, it will be Doughty who leads the resurgence when all is said and done.
Goalie: Jonathan Quick
There is no one else possible of taking this spot on the Kings All-Decade team. Jonathan Quick has been the Kings’ starter for the entire decade and has consistently been one of the best goalies in the league. Since putting on the Kings’ uniform for the first time, Quick has gone on to play in more than 60 games six times. He is a workhorse that has been the backbone for many incredible Kings teams.
Quick was one of the main reasons why the Kings won their first-ever Stanley Cup in 2011-12. To say he was incredible would be an understatement. He was otherworldly for the Kings during that run. In 20 games played, he posted a .946 save percentage to go along with a 1.41 goals-against average.
Although Quick is not what he used to be, he is still very athletic. He reads the play well and makes insane saves look easy. He plays angles very well and does not get flustered easily. Quick is still a quality NHL goalie capable of stealing games for the Kings when needed. Quick will go down in Kings lore as one of the greatest goalies to ever don the white and black.
Jeff Carter has been a staple in the Kings lineup since he arrived in 2011. He was apart of both Cup-winning teams and has put up 60+ points three times.
Tyler Toffoli was always one you could rely upon to score a big goal. Toffoli has great hockey sense and always seems to be in the right spot at the right time. A part of the Cup-winning team in 2013-14, Toffoli was always amongst the fan favourites.
That does it for the Los Angeles Kings Team of the Decade. Stay tuned for Thursday’s Team of the Decade.
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