It happened in the Dallas game. Sudden. Unexpected. Consistent since that night. Kyle Clifford looked as comfortable and fluid in his skating, defensive zone coverage, hitting and decisions as he has always been punching opponents. If Kyle develops an offensive instinct that is on the same level as his pugilist skills, he will be a top line winger. That may take some time still.
I am going to go out on a limb and declare that Kyle Clifford will be the 4th line winger. He has found his fit. Brayden is still looking for his and though Schenn may have a higher upside, I see him sent to Juniors to continue development.
I am still not certain which other rookie will accompany Kyle but if Trevor Lewis and Brad Richardson continue to have the same chemistry with Clifford on that 4th line that they showed in the game against the Lightning on each end of the ice, then that may be the Kings’ fourth line this season.
What about Kevin Westgarth? He is a popular player. He should be. We will need him when the real heavy weights are in the opponent’s line up, but I don’t expect Kevin will take a regular role with the Kings unless someone else falters.
What do you think Kings’ fans? Does Clifford stay or go?