After being called up for the final 27 regular-season games in 2011-12, Dwight King proved to the Los Angeles Kings that he was worth keeping around. During that time, King, the native of Meadowvale, Saskatchewan, scored five goals, added nine assists and had a +3 rating heading into the playoffs where he continued his success scoring five more goals and adding three assists in 20 games en route to reaching the proverbial top of the mountain. Unfortunately, 2013 was a step backwards for King, at least offensively, but the big man hopes to rebound this coming season.
While he appeared in all but one of Los Angeles’ regular-season games last season, the 24-year-old King only managed to score four goals and added six assists while accumulating a less-than-stellar -3 rating. His ice time even dipped a bit from 14:38 in 2011-12 to 12:45 last season.
Like most of his teammates, however, Dwight King was able to use his size to his advantage, even if it wasn’t as often as fans would have liked.
During the regular season last year, the 6’3, 234-pounder registered 58 hits but to his credit, stepped up his physical game in the playoffs dishing out 47 hits in just 18 outings while increasing his ice time to 14:46 per contest.
While his 47 hits in 18 games was more impressive than his 37 in 20 post-season games in 2012, Dwight King needs more consistency on the physical front.
Last season, I joked that King bore an uncanny resemblance to the late Argentian wrestler Jorge Gonzalez (known to WCW fans as El Gigante and WWE fans as Giant Gonzalez). Aside from the foot-and-a-half differential in addition to the Los Angeles forward (hopefully) not having to wear a full-body leotard with muscles painted on it, the looks of the two men are identical. But I don’t want to solely refer to Dwight King as “the guy who looks like Giant Gonzalez,” as there is more to the former Lethbridge Hurricane than that.
Like Jordan Nolan, who he was called up from Manchester with in early 2012, Dwight King’s offensive game has taken a step backwards. But, also like Nolan, King’s physical game is up to par. Having said that, King should be prepared to deliver a few more hits this coming season as the 2013-14 campaign will prove to be pivotal for the big man who will be preparing for his first 82-game season. How Dwight King handles the load of playing with the big club for the next seven months should decide what type of future No. 74 has in Los Angeles beyond 2014.
Like some Kings this season, there is a shred of uncertainty when it comes to Dwight King donning the silver-and-black this season and fans are hoping that last season’s offensive downturn was simply a case of getting hit by the all-too-infamous sophomore jinx.
Taken 109th overall by the Kings in 2007, the 24-year-old still has a lot to prove and this season will most likely be a make-or-break campaign for Dwight King.