Frozen Royalty: Confidence And Maturity Has Wayne Simmonds Shining Bright
Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty has some nice material today to complement our lazy Sunday. Here’s his in-depth piece on fan favorite Wayne Simmonds
LOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Wayne Simmonds was toiling away in the Ontario Hockey League for the Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds. But his play had already caught the eye of the Los Angeles Kings, who had selected him in the second round (61st overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
In that 2007-08 season with Owen Sound, Simmonds scored seventeen goals and contributed 22 assists for 39 points with 43 penalty minutes in 29 games before being traded to Sault Ste. Marie, where he scored sixteen goals and added twenty assists for 36 points with sixty penalty minutes in 31 games.
In fourteen playoff games with the Greyhounds, Simmonds scored five goals and added nine assists for fourteen points with 22 penalty minutes.
Simmonds went on to play in the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic and he represented Canada in the IIHF World Junior Championships that season, helping lead his team to the gold medal.
And after that? All Simmonds did was make the Kings roster right out of junior hockey last season, playing in all 82 games, scoring nine goals and adding fourteen assists for 23 points with 73 penalty minutes.
But if you think that was impressive, you haven’t been paying attention to what he has done so far this season.
To be sure, Simmonds has been one of the Kings’ best players since the start of the season, although his performance as a gritty, hard-working forward who can chip in here and there with a goal or two was vastly overshadowed by the dominating performance of the line of Anze Kopitar, Ryan Smyth and Justin Williams earlier in the season.
Now, with Smyth out of the lineup due to an undisclosed upper body injury, Kopitar has fallen off the face of the Earth in terms of goal scoring. Add to that the scoring woes of right wing Dustin Brown and Alexander Frolov, one would think the Kings’ offense would completely dry up, sending the team into a lengthy downward spiral.
But not if Simmonds has anything to say about it.
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