There are a lot of great players in the Kings organization. Quite a few get the credit they deserve, and some even more than that. Then there is the group of players that don't get the publicity or fanfare that they should. It's not really due to any fault of their own, it's just the way it is. In the words of Todd Bertuzzi, "It is what it is."
Let's examine the 5 most underrated Kings. Some may surprise you, others may not. Enjoy.
Yes he's your captain and yes he does get talked about. Regardless, Dustin Brown doesn't get the league wide recognition that he deserves. He can play in all situations, he hits, he scores, he assists and most importantly he is a great team guy. Dustin deserves so much more credit than he gets from the Eastern media.
How does this sound? Brown outscored all of the players listed below.
- Phil Kessel
- Martin Havlat
- Thomas Vanek
- Danny Briere
- Patrice Bergeron
Every single one of those players gets so much more attention than Dustin Brown. He is your #5 most underrated King.
While his price tag is big, his dedication level is bigger. He is a player that wanted to be in Los Angeles. I consider him to be underrated because of what he did to Kopitar's game while he was in the line-up. Kopitar went from solid first line center to superstar. It takes a special kind of player to help someone undergo that kind of transformation. Not only is Ryan the closest thing the Kings have to a top tier winger, he is also one of the best locker room guys in the league. He wasn't given the nickname Captain Canada for nothing. Look for Ryan to have a great year this year.
Here is a guy that hasn't even put on a Kings jersey yet and I can guarantee that he will be underrated. Willie Mitchell plays the kind of game where it is better if you don't notice him. He is so good that we often overlook him for players with more flash like Drew Doughty. He is going to play a key role in taking this Kings team to the next level. Hopefully Mitchell gets the credit he deserves, but I just don't see it happening. He was underappreciated in Vancouver, and fans will not totally realize what they've lost until opening night against the Kings. What a fitting start to the season.
As far as big checking centers come, Michal Handzus is as good as they come. Not only can he check, he can score too. He will get you 20 goals a season and fans won't even notice. He gives so much to the team that you don't see. He prevents goals, and he scores goals. Players like Handzus are so valuable in the playoffs. Handzus' size doesn't hurt either. He is a big, tall and sturdy player that is hard to gain body position against. Hopefully Kings fans wake up and see that they have one of the best checking centers in the game.
It's hard to play behind Jack Johnson and Drew Doughty. Rob Scuderi lines up behind two of the game's premier young defensemen. He is a strong reliable defender with Stanley Cup experience. He doesn't score much, but he can hit and shut down offensive players (see the Alex Burrows hit in the picture). Not only would I call Rob Scuderi the most underrated King, I would call him the most underrated Kings' signing post-lockout. If the Kings are to make a push this season, he will play such a big role in the team's success. Glad that Rob signed with Los Angeles during last year's off season.
So there is my list of the 5 most underrated Los Angeles Kings. Do you agree with my list? What would you change? Please leave a comment and let me know who you see as underrated on the Kings roster.