Player evaluation: Brown

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DUSTIN BROWN

This season: 78 games, 33 goals, 27 assists, minus-13 rating.

Positives: Where to begin? Toward the end of last season, coach Marc Crawford said Brown could be a 30-goal scorer. Brown, who had scored 31 goals, combined, in his previous two seasons, netted 33 this season and became a regular winger on the Kings’ top line. He kept his penalty minutes in check, reduced his plus-minus rating from minus-21 to minus-13, took a career-high 219 shots on goal and, perhaps most importantly, improved his skills as a vocal leader.

Negatives: Not many. His assist total actually dipped, from 29 to 27, and Brown can’t forget to retain that hard-nosed, hitting style, just because he has proved to be a talented scorer.

Looking ahead: Crawford thought he could be a 30-goal scorer. So did Brown hit his ceiling this season? That’s hard to imagine, since he’s only 23 years old. It was a great year for Brown, who signed a big contract and had his first child. The challenge is to get even better and avoid the type of letdown Michael Cammalleri had this season.

Contract situation: Signed through 2013-14 (cap number of $3.175 million next season).

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