With the vast individual playoff success that so many Kings from Marian Gaborik to Justin Williams to Tyler Toffoli have celebrated this past spring, players like Jarret Stoll appeared to be somewhat lost in the shuffle. With that said, though, Jarret Stoll still contributes a great deal even in his sixth year with the Los Angeles Kings. He may not score at will but Jarret Stoll is one of the best faceoff men in hockey. Oh, and with 202 hits this past regular season, the 32-year-old can certain dish out the punishment.
Those 202 hits this season were good enough for third on the club behind only Dustin Brown and Robyn Regehr. In fact, over his last four campaigns, Stoll has averaged just under 161 hits per. En route to their first Stanley Cup in 2012, the Los Angeles Kings saw Stoll deliver 73 hits. But while his total in said department decreased to 34 the following season, the veteran upped the ante to 95 hits this past spring en route to another championship.
But what Jarret Stoll is arguably strongest at on the ice is his dominance in the faceoff dot. This past regular season, the native of Melville, Saskatchewan, won 54.7 per cent of his faceoffs. While still impressive, that number is slightly lower than his 56 per cent in 2013 and 55 per cent in 2011-12. Nevertheless, fans in Los Angeles don't really mind if those numbers have dropped. After all, in the 2014 playoffs, Stoll's faceoff percentage increased to 56.7. None of his wins in the dot may have made the highlight reels but they were critical to Los Angeles's success, especially in their series comebacks versus San Jose and Anaheim as well as their elimination of the defending Cup champs from Chicago.
But while he doesn't score at will, Jarret Stoll did help light the lamp a few times this season.
In 78 regular-season games this past year, Stoll scored eight goals and added 19 assists to go along with a very decent +9 rating. In the playoffs, Stoll took part in each of Los Angeles's 26 games, scoring three times, adding three helpers and a rating of +6. Plus, it doesn't hurt that that the female fanbase in the City of Angels finds No. 28 easy on the eyes - just one of the reasons why Stoll has been a fan favourite in SoCal since his arrival in 2008. Plus, having suffered a seizure last July, the veteran is seen by many as an inspiration and deserves a plethora of credit for his resiliency alone.
2014-15 marks the final year of Jarret Stoll's current contract, and while it is much too early to tell whether Stoll's stay in Los Angeles will go beyond this season, there are too many fans who simply do not want to see the faceoff specialist go. But in the mean time, it's been a good year for No. 28 - and from his faceoff work to his physical game to his leadership, Jarret Stoll does deserve a great deal of praise.
Overall grade for Jarret Stoll: B+