Culver City Observer -

By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

A Swedish left-winger is helping with the LA Kings success

A great all around player Kempe, has advice for the team "We need to shoot more."

 

November 25, 2021

Adrian Kempe

The LA Kings hockey team has been experiencing somewhat of a surge in their performance and in the standings, climbing out of the cellar in the Pacific Division to start the season, to now occupying fifth place in the division with a record of 8-7-3.

One of the key variables to their success has been 25-year-old Swedish left-winger Adrian Kempe.

As it stands right now, after 18 games, he's netted seven goals, and assisted on four, for a total of 11 points. That gives him the third spot on the Kings players stat list, trailing only two other players. Anze Kopitar at 17 points, and Alex Iafallo at 13.

Kempe is ranked at number 2 in goals at seven, one goal behind Kopitar who has eight. Three of those goals came in the form of a hat-trick, his first in the NHL, in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on October 19.

He's tallied seven goals and 10 points in his past 11 contests and has a shorthanded goal and two power-play assists during that span with a mighty 38 shots on goal.

In 2014, he was drafted by the Kings 29th overall in the first round, and spent time developing his skills in the minor leagues. Kempe made his NHL debut on February 16, 2017 and would go on to score his first goal in the Kings' 4-2 victory against the Washington Capitals at STAPLES Center on March 11. The 2017-18 season was his first full season in the league, finishing with 37 points (16 goals, 21 assists) and was plus-11 in 81 games.

Since he was re-signed to a three-year, $6 million contract extension on September 4, 2019, we've seen him steadily improve.

Not only at both ends of the ice, but also now as an enforcer. Kempe, 6'2" and 200 lbs., has toughened-up and doesn't hesitate to come to the aid of a teammate being bullied by an opponent. He has the second most PIM at 16, 14 being at home, so Kempe seems to become more aggressive on his home ice, which is exciting for the fans.

And he seems to be inspired by the fans at STAPLES Center, scoring five of his goals and three of his assists at home.

About a week ago, Kempe had this to say to the media after practice about what the team needs to do to improve. "We need to shoot more." And, obviously, that's what he's been doing so far this season.

Kempe is playing in all situations while occupying spots on the first line and top power-play unit, and has been firing on all cylinders in what is shaping up to be a career-year for him.

He's evolved into an all-around player, and at only 25, there's much more room for growth, maturity and development. All the investment that the Kings organization put into him is starting to pay dividends, as Kempe has become the creme that is rising to the top.

 

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