He cracked the big club's squad at 19 in 2010-11 and since then, Kyle Clifford has been a mainstay with the Los Angeles KIngs, using his grit and his toughness to fit in. But recently, the 23-year-old's game has fallen off a bit. Still immensely popular, Clifford has had concussion trouble which has limited his fighting - something the Big Red Dog excelled at early in his career. Still, Kyle Clifford helped out in a fairly big way in 2013-14.
In 71 games this past regular season, Clifford racked up 81 penalty minutes and dished out 189 hits. While he did score just three goals and add five assists along the way, No. 13 did accumulate a respectable rating of +6, although averaged just 10:09 of ice time per outing.
In 24 playoff games, Clifford scored once and added six assists, but also registered 64 hits and 39 penalty minutes. But Clifford averaged just 9:47 of ice time per game. Still, his efforts were enough to help the Los Angeles Kings claim their second Stanley Cup crown in three years.
In the four years he has been with the Kings, Kyle Clifford has been a consummate fan favourite. However, with rumours having already been swirled about the Ayr, Ontario, native's departure in recent years coupled with the fact that he is entering the final year of his contract next season, it is safe to wonder whether 2014-15 will truly be Kyle Clifford's last in Los Angeles.
While his role has been somewhat diminished in recent years, Kyle Clifford has been no less important to the Los Angeles Kings this past season than he was back in 2011. He may not have had a lot of ice time but the tough guy still displayed his great work ethic anyway.
Overall grade for Kyle Clifford: C