Going into Wednesday’s exhibition against the Ducks, it would appear three and possibly four players could be battling for ice time as the Kings’ third- and fourth-line centers. Andy Andreoff, Trevor Lewis and Nick Shore filled those roles last season, but now a fourth name has emerged as a candidate.
Adrian Kempe, a 20-year-old first-round draft pick in 2014, got a chance to play between Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli during the Kings’ 4-3 split-squad exhibition victory Monday over the Arizona Coyotes at Staples Center.. Kempe didn’t have a goal or an assist, but Pearson and Toffoli had one of each.
Although he’s listed as a left wing (or right wing, depending on the website you search for information), Kempe played center quite a bit last season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey because of injuries to other players. So, it wasn’t a stretch to see him playing Monday between Pearson and Toffoli. Kempe was credited with two shots on goal, one hit and nine victories in 18 faceoffs in 16:26.