Monday, February 11, 2013
Voynov poised for a breakout?
By Luke Lapinski
A case could certainly be made that Slava Voynov has been the Los Angeles Kings' best defenseman through 10 games this season. The 23-year old has two goals to lead all blueliners on the team, while also chipping in a pair of helpers. And his plus-4 rating is the best of anyone on the club.
Those numbers are even better than those of Drew Doughty (four assists, minus-10 rating), who is widely considered LA's best defender. Voynov doesn't have to perform at a higher level than Doughty all year to have a good season though; he just needs to continue to make things happen. His 25:36 of ice time against Detroit yesterday was the most of anyone on either team. In fact, he's seen his minutes rise considerably since the start of the year. And LAKingsInsider.com contends that he's been the most effective rearguard on the roster at getting shots through from the point.
Voynov's emergence shouldn't exactly come as a shock though. He was drafted fairly early (No. 32 overall in the 2008 draft) and developed into a highly-rated prospect for the organization while with Manchester of the AHL. If he keeps improving, he could be someone the Kings lean on as they look to halt their early season struggles.