Making the cut
The biggest roster battles in training camp are for the third-pair defense spots. On the right side, it’s Jordan Spence vs. Brandt Clarke. Clarke did not travel to Australia for the 2023 NHL Global Series -- Melbourne, due to a shoulder injury, but was skating back in Los Angeles and should be ready to compete as camp goes on. On the left side, it’s Tobias Bjornfot vs. Andreas Englund.
Most intriguing addition
Dubois was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets with the No. 3 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft. But early in his fourth season with them, he was traded to the Jets, and now he has been traded to the Kings. By signing an eight-year contract in Los Angeles, it appears Dubois has found a home while hitting the prime of his career. He has a chance to be a dominant player for a contending team.
Biggest potential surprise
Arthur Kaliyev has risen from a fourth-line role to a top-nine role, and he’s starting out in camp on the left wing with Dubois and forward Kevin Fiala. He set an NHL career high with 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) last season even though he played only 56 games. He had 27 points (14 goals, 13 assists) in 80 games the year before. Can the 22-year-old seize this opportunity to make a leap forward offensively?
Ready to contribute
Spence has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 30 NHL games over the past two seasons, but he has put up big numbers with Ontario of the American Hockey League. He had 42 points (four goals, 38 assists) in 46 games in 2021-22, and 45 points (four goals, 41 assists) in 56 games last season.
Talbot, G (fantasy average draft position: 172.0) -- He ranked ninth among NHL goalies in wins over the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons with the Minnesota Wild (51). Talbot was 17-14-2 with an .898 save percentage for the Ottawa Senators last season, but now has revitalized potential and should be viewed as a deep sleeper after joining the Kings, who allowed the fourth-fewest shots on goal per game (27.9) in the NHL last season -- Anna Dua