Player evaluation: Simmonds

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WAYNE SIMMONDS
This season: 82 games, 9 goals, 14 assists, 73 penalty minutes, 13:50 average ice time.
The good: Simmonds was all skin, bones and energy when he showed up in the summer of 2007 for his first prospects camp. A year later, his performance in training camp was so dynamic that the Kings, shockingly, chose to keep him around. After that, all Simmonds did was play 82 games, bring a ton of energy, play good defense, bring some toughness, skate hard on every shift and show some offensive potential. On a per-minute basis, no Kings player got more out of his playing time than Wayne Simmonds did this season.
The bad: Everyone knows what Simmonds’ weakness is at this point. He needs to find a way to pack on some bulk without losing any of his speed. That shouldn’t be hard to do. At a legit 6-foot-1, Simmonds certainly has room to pack on a few pounds, and he talked about his desire to get stronger this summer. Another 10 pounds or so, over the summer, could make a world of difference.
Going forward: Since Simmonds is still so much a work in progress, it’s hard to know what his ceiling is. At worst, he’s already a dynamic third-line winger. At best, he could develop a scoring touch and be a real two-way threat. Simmonds made tremendous strides in the last 12 months, and if he can take a similar step forward over the next year, the Kings will have a real gem.

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  • hazen

    I love this kid and what he brings. A real nice suprise.

  • agentfouser

    wayne… future captain?

  • s2

    It’s amazing that this young man wasn’t even rated by Central Scouting in his draft year. The knowledge Futa had of Simmonds allowed us to grab him. A very pleasant surprise and perhaps a future cornerstone of the team.

  • anthony

    A huge bright spot.
    He kinda reminds me of a younger Lappy.

  • wisconsinKingsfan

    I can’t say a single bad thing about this guy. I love him and he has fulfilled his role perfectly.

  • variable

    simmer is quickly becoming my favorite player to root for on this team…he’s infectious…i mean, what’s not to like about how he plays and the results he put up during his rookie season…?

    the energy…the enthusiasm…the tenacity…the speed…the grit…simmer might be the complete package…

    one thing that simmer did this year that was awesome to watch was his ability to pass the puck to himself off the boards on a rush…simmer would often go around a player with this play and be able to get the puck deep in the offensive zone or on net…that type of an effort and play shows you that this kid has smarts…he seems to be always thinking out on the ice…and never…i should say NEVER…did i see simmer out of position on any play…he might have made an errant pass or two, but simmer, along w/zus, were the two most consistently responsible forwards on the ice all season long…

    the kid tremendous potential…i could see him as a deadmarsh-type of threat…

    the gym and the health food restaurant/store are both places where you should see wayne-o mostly in the off-season…

    but…man…i’m so enthusiastic about this kid and his possible potential and growth…

    out of all the players that have come up throughout the organization in recent years, simmer might have the all-around ability to be the best of them…

    i love this kid…!

  • darko25o

    I am more excited about seeing this player develop than any other player we have. I know that sounds absurd, and it may be based on my growing comfort level with our defense, but there is something very special about this player, and there isn’t any one thing i can point to. He does everything right at 20 years old. If there was one player on the Kings whose play I could emulate, it would be Simmonds. I wish i could have conitnued to say Brown, but Simmonds isn’t going to skate away from a fray, or back down, or away, when his teammates are in trouble. He’s also an absolute monster on the forecheck. I know its still a long road for Wayne, but when you look at players of old, who do you see him being compared to when he bulks up to 200+, and has 3 years behind him….

  • TB

    By far the most consistent guy in the lineup this last year. He reminds me of a Jeremy Roenick type game with his offensive skills still a work in progres. But much like Roenick in his prime, I see Simmonds as an impact player who can have an effect on the game beyond the scoresheet. Definitely a big piece of a successful playoff future for us. Kudos to the Kings scouting and management team for finding this guy!!!

  • Ersberg

    Grade: A+

    Future 25-30 goal scorer(or more). Gritty, hits, plays decent D, young, gives 100% each shift, and has fully adapted to Terry’s model. How could you not like this guy? He’ll only get better.

    If this guy were traded, it would be a monumental mistake of unlimited proportions.

  • variable

    darko…

    like i said above you…

    i think he’s got the type of game and potential that reminds me a lot of adam deadmarsh…maybe even cam neely…and if we are very fortunate, why not jarome iginla…

    i can’t remember sooooo many of us fans seeing eye-to-eye and agreeing on any one player the kings have/had in such a long time…
    we all can feel that simmer might be on the precipice of greatness…just talking about him gives me the chills…

    he has, by far, the most offensive upside (even more than kopi) of any kings player currently on the roster or even in the minors…i know that statement might be somewhat controversial, but the fact remains that simmer was given a chance to make it and stay with the team…and he took it and rode it better than anyone else has in a similar situation in recent memory/history…and he didn’t have to get sent back to the minors to learn any “lessons”…his tremendous play warranted his roster spot…

    allllllll aboard the wayne train…!!!!!!!

  • EncinoMan

    No complaints here, either. He was consistent all year. Never took a shift off. Looking forward to seeing him bulked up over the summer.

  • mrbrett7

    I hope you prove me wrong Ersberg.

    No way he is a future 25-30 goal scorer…I don’t think people realize just how hard that is to do.

    BUT, I do love this kid, and with some more weight, more confidence, he will be the cornerstone of a great 3rd line for the Kings. Defense from your forwards is what brings championships.

  • Ersberg

    25 goals is minimal for a guy like this. He scored 9 on a checking line in his first season that he wasn’t even supposed to be playing in LA. Given a chance on a line with a playmaking center, he’d do it for sure.

  • darko25o

    Variable-
    Awesome man! I actually thought I was the first to post, so i must have been writing when your comments went up, pretty scary how close they are. And i was eluding to the Deadmarsh comparison as well.

    Ersberg-
    “25 goals is minimal for a guy like this. He scored 9 on a checking line in his first season that he wasn’t even supposed to be playing in LA. Given a chance on a line with a playmaking center, he’d do it for sure.”

    …Absolutely
    And its not as though you and I are the perennial optimists either…

  • variable

    darko/ersberg…

    we all agree…this kid is going to be something special…

    when all else is wrong w/this team and lies in uncertainty, simmer seems to always be on the right side of the positivity ledger…

    i want to buy his jersey…!

  • EJ

    This kid is obviously smart in addition to all the other fine things said about him here. He’s been soaking up the defensive game from Handzus, and I’ll be damned if he didn’t look a lot like Frolov along the boards in the offensive zone in the latter part of the season.

    So, he’s smart, responsible, tenacious, talented, tough, and he GETS it. If the team had another half dozen like him, they would be a perennial Cup contender. IF . . . .

  • Ersberg

    Dark/Variable-

    You got it. He provides the light in an otherwise uncertain team future. I’m sure he’ll be here for years to come, and I can’t be more happy with that idea.

  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    When I grow up, I want to be like Wayne Simmonds…
    Too bad, I’m 53.

    When I grow up, I want to be like Wayne Simmonds…
    I’m never going to grow up!
    :)

  • Baumgartner22

    if i could afford to buy a kings jersey, it would have #17 and SIMMONDS on the back.

  • HawKings

    Captain? More likely an “A” as Brown isn’t going anywhere.
    Roenick, Deadmarsh, Neeely, Igninla? Possible.
    Guaranteed: WS will give everything he’s got, every shift of every game.

  • 4thlinechecker

    I love this kid….. He could score in juniors. I think he will ebd up with a great 2 way physical game…. He will be a top 6 guy…. I loved him from his first training camp……… not to mention he can drop the mits now, imagine 15lbs stronger?

  • Datacloud

    It’s a complete wonder to me that very few young professional hockey players play as passionately and compete as hard as Simmonds. Guys like Purcell and Boyle don’t have 20% of his heart and drive.

    I tell you, if I had any kind of ability that would allow me to play a sport professionally, I would work my ass off 24/7. These kids don’t know how good they have it.

  • nykingfan

    wow 20 something comments and not a single bad word about the guy.

    He quickly became my favorite player to watch every night. You know you’re going to get 100% effort every shift.
    Grade A+

  • Moondoggie

    Well I’ll make it unanimous.

    Simmonds was indeed something special to watch this season. Talk about a rookie who really looked like he had something to prove and proved it. He played every shift like it was the 7th game of the Stanley Cup Final. Very few lapses and yes, I agree Ersberg, 25 goals are not out of reach for this terrific young forward. I see him 2nd line but 1st isn’t out of the question. He has one of the best work ethics on the team, like Quick he never quits.

    Grade – A++ and the best is yet to come. Kudos again to Zeus for teaching and mentoring Simmonds. Just goes to show you (again) how truly valuable Zeus was to the Kings this season……

  • jet

    How could this guy possibly be a rookie? No late season drop off, the most consistent effort of any player on the team, often played against opponents best line, no stupid penalties (actually, hardly any minors). Needs to work on his shot, but don’t all 20 year olds and he is sneaky fast. My highest rated player, A+.

  • darko25o

    I feel like we should all come up with an award to give the guy! I did a painting for Doughty on MS Paint, maybe I should make one for the SIMMERMAN.
    http://cafurl.com?i=12275
    Then I’ll goldplate, and diamond encrust it, then present it to our hero.

  • Datacloud

    OK, I’ll be the first to say it: He needs to work on his passing. Early in the season, he made godawful decisions in the offensive zone, primarily telegraphed passes back to the point which were easily picked off. He seemed to correct that as the season went on. I will say that he made great strides with this, so perhaps it’s not so much of a concern anymore, but it bugged me at first, before I took it in as part of being a rookie.

  • JDM

    Datacloud,

    I think that’s more his overall decision making early on than his passing. He could be a better passer, but I don’t see it as a huge weakness. He’s one of the few guys we have who seems to know how to recieve one.

    I think the best thing his can work on is getting his shots through. He has a nice shot, but he times them poorly often. He needs to learn to whip off the shot before the dman can get into position, or be a little more patient and take a step around. He took many many shots that were deflected from the top of the circles and out of the zone.

    I’m not ragging on him, because obviously I agree with everyone’s praise. There are archives from this season with my predictions that Simmonds will score 30-40 goals in a few seasons during his career.

    I merely mention his shot as something he can make some small adjustments to and vastly increase his offensive potency.

  • mrbrett7

    Unless there are injuries, he won’t see time in the top 6 on a normal basis. He won’t see time on the PP on a normal basis.

    In order to score 25-30 goals per season, you must play around 17-20 minutes per night (which he most likely won’t) and get extensive PP time (which he most likely won’t).

    I love the kid, and he quickly became one of my favorite players, but don’t overestimate his abilities.

    Lappy was a 30+ goal scorer in Juniors.

  • nykingfan

    mrbrett7

    I agree to a point, but the ability to drive to the net should lead to him becoming more of a goal scorer.
    He had more scoring chances than most of the players did. He didn’t bury them, but he was always in position to score. I think with experience, those pucks will find their way to the back of the net.
    I don’t remember Lappy being that type of player. I don’t recall him getting the type of scoring chances Simmonds did. It wwas a long time ago, and maybe my memory is a little short on that.

  • mrbrett7

    As I said earlier, I hope I’m wrong. Nothing would make me happier.

    I just don’t think I am. I love the kid, but proclaiming him a future 30 goal scorer is a huge stretch in my opinion. A 20 goal season from him would be huge.

    That said though, he will be the type of player who can get 15 goals a year, around 15-20 assists, 100 or so PIM’s, and play excellent defense. A PERFECT 3rd liner who can fill in for injuries on the top two lines when needed. You need these guys to compete with the big boys.

  • ose

    What are you guys talking about. Simmonds play was marginal at best given the amount of ice time he played. He should have been sent down to give other players a (longer) look like Purcell,Zeiler,Boyle,Lewis.The Kings need to start making better decisions with ice time and who gets it. Or we will continue to be a third rate team. 9 goals,14 assists,-8,(82)games. You wont find any highlight reels on this guy anytime soon.

  • nykingfan

    Apparently ose didn’t watch many games this year and just read the stats.

    Just for sh**s and giggles…what about his play (don’t give us stats) didn’t you like?

  • Ersberg

    Yeah, I’m going to have to disagree with Ose, there.

    Mrbrett makes a solid case/point, but that other one..just wow.

  • variable

    OSE…

    yr off the grid w/that post…

    i’m not about to go into detail & pick you apart since i believe this is the first time you’ve commented on this site (?)…yr entitled to yr opinion…no matter how myopic it might be…

    i think almost every other contributor here would disagree w/you…so that’s enough retort for me…

    enjoy the weather…!

  • mrbrett7

    Ose…your kidding, right?

    I know what I said, but are you serious?

    On a team of incosistency, he was one of the most consistent all season long…and he’s 20 years old.

  • HawKings

    Ose, you must be related to Peaches. Most could have accepted that he needs to work on his acting skills (All-Star promotion) but “play was marginal at best”. There was nothing marginal about WS, who as a rookie was asked to play on a shut down line, which often defended against top players on the opposing team. I doubt that TM or DL would rate his play as “marginal”. Clearly the fans don’t.

  • Telos

    Most deserving player to wear a Kings uniform this season. There should be an award for that…

  • go kings go

    Ose, I think Simmonds was way better than any rookie I’ve seen on the kings this year.