If you want to talk underappreciated Kings, it would be difficult to have such a conversation without bringing up Colin Fraser’s name. He may not have the most ice time (averaged 9:22 per game last season) or the most goals (2 in 34 outings in 2013) but fans in Los Angeles can still count on the 28-year-old to contribute to their team’s success.
When I first heard Colin Fraser’s name associated with the Los Angeles Kings, I was a little more than miffed – but not at Fraser or the Kings. Instead, the forward was unfortunately linked in a controversial trade from Edmonton in 2011 that saw Ryan Smyth head the other way.
In an attempt to trade Smyth, the Kings had a deal with the Oilers where they would ship the veteran north in exchange for Gilbert Brule. Unfortunately, the deal was voided and a little later on, the Kings were able to deal Smyth to Edmonton but this time, for one Colin Fraser.
As much as I liked him, I was happy to see Ryan Smyth get traded in large part because of his hefty salary. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until later when the Kings discovered that Colin Fraser was actually injured – something then-Oilers’ GM Steve Tambellini neglected to inform anyone in Los Angeles of. From there, I never trusted Tambellini and when he was relieved of his GM duties this past spring, all I said was, “Good riddance.”
When Colin Fraser did recuperate, however, he was able to chip in and help the Kings win some games, even if the team was ranked 29th in offense in his maiden season of 2011-12.
In 67 games last first season, Fraser scored twice and added six assists. Last season, Fraser scored another pair while adding five assists, just one point short of his mark in 2011-12. With that said, it is important to mention that last season, Fraser played in 33 fewer games. However, offense isn’t where Fraser excels at most.
Having already won a Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010, Fraser certainly had that experience when he arrived in Los Angeles and after he helped the Kings win the Cup in 2012, the native of Sicamous, British Columbia wasn’t content on sitting idly by. In fact, despite his slender 6’1, 191-pound frame, Fraser recorded 71 hits in 34 games last season while showing off his defensive muscle taking away seven pucks while giving it up just once.
With his aforementioned average ice time of 9:22 last season, it is a clear indication that Fraser let his limited time on the ice count as he proved just a little more to his team that being a line-filler for his team’s third or fourth line.
It’s difficult to determine what type of impact Colin Fraser will have this season if any. With determined rookies like Andy Andreoff and Linden Vey, there is little guaranteeing that Fraser will see the entire season without being a healthy scratch at least a few times.
Colin Fraser’s role in Los Angeles is unclear but if his last two seasons are any indication, he will find a positive way to contribute even if he doesn’t see the ice as often as others.