The 2023-24 NHL season starts Oct. 10. With training camps underway, is taking a look at the three keys, inside scoop on roster questions, and projected lineup for each of the 32 teams. Today, the Los Angeles Kings.

Coach: Todd McLellan (fifth season)

Last season: 47-25-10; third place in Pacific Division, lost to Edmonton Oilers in Western Conference First Round


1. Center

Pierre-Luc Dubois strengthens Los Angeles down the middle after being traded from the Winnipeg Jets on June 27 and signing an eight-year contract the same day. The 25-year-old set an NHL career high with 63 points (27 goals, 36 assists) in 73 games and had four points (two goals, two assists) in five Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. Opponents now have to deal with Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Dubois on both ends of the ice.

2. Byfield

Can Quinton Byfield break out offensively? The No. 2 pick of the 2020 NHL Draft is now 21 and has 99 games of NHL experience. He played well by some measures last season, but he had only 22 points (three goals, 19 assists) in 53 games. Playing the left wing on the top line with Kopitar and forward Adrian Kempe, he should have the opportunity to produce much more, and Los Angeles needs him to.

3. Goaltending

The Kings controlled 52.3 percent of the 5-on-5 shot attempts last season, tied for sixth in the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers, but their 5-on-5 save percentage was .907, tied for 22nd with the Seattle Kraken, Ottawa Senators and Chicago Blackhawks. Pheonix Copley returns after going 24-6-3 with a 2.64 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and one shutout in 37 games (35 starts) last season. Cam Talbot signed a one-year contract July 1 after going 17-14-2 with a 2.93 goals-against average, .898 save percentage and one shutout in 36 games (32 starts) with the Ottawa Senators.

The crew on their expectations for the Kings


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.

Fantasy sleeper

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


Quinton Byfield -- Anze Kopitar -- Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore -- Phillip Danault -- Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Arthur Kaliyev

Carl Grundstrom -- Blake Lizotte -- Trevor Lewis

Mikey Anderson -- Drew Doughty

Vladislav Gavrikov -- Matt Roy

Andreas Englund -- Jordan Spence

Pheonix Copley

Cam Talbot

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