With every franchise, players who’ve come and gone have impacted their respected team(s) in one way or another. As the “teen” decade comes to an end, we’ll take a look at former Los Angeles Kings players from the last nine seasons who have done just that and where they are now.
Let’s start with the 2010-11 season, a time where the Kings’ roster featured some superstars before their prime.
Brayden Schenn — St. Louis Blues
Yes, Brayden Schenn was a King – but for only a short amount of time. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native was selected fifth overall by Los Angeles in the 2009 NHL Draft and only appeared in one game that season. He spent most of his time in the Western Hockey League with the Brandon Wheat Kings in 2009-10, where he recorded 99 points.
In the following season, the center and left winger played in eight games and tallied two assists. His time with the Kings ended in the summer of 2011 when he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
Schenn started to show his true potential in 2013-14 as he started hitting double-digits in scoring and assists. His best season with the Flyers was in 2015-16, where he netted 26 goals and recorded 59 points. He hit his prime when he joined the St. Louis Blues before the 2017-18 season.
Related: Revisiting the Brayden Schenn Trade
He recorded career-highs in multiple categories during his first season in the Gateway City. The first-rounder registered 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points with a plus-10 rating. The 2018-19 season was one to remember as Schenn and the Blues became Stanley Cup champions for the first time in franchise history.
He tallied 54 points in the regular season and 12 in the playoffs en route to his first Lord Stanley hoist. St. Louis’ offseason treated Schenn well as he signed an extension with the team worth $52 million.
Brad Richardson — Arizona Coyotes
Now here’s a player with much NHL experience and skill, especially with the Kings. The right-winger was drafted 163rd overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2003 NHL Draft and made his debut in 2005-06. His best season with the Avalanche came in 2006-07, where he recorded 22 points in 73 games.
In the summer of 2008, the Belleville, Ontario native was traded to the Kings for a second-round pick. Richardson bounced back-and-forth from the Kings and the Manchester Monarchs, the franchise’s American Hockey League team at the time, during his first season in Los Angeles. However, he managed to keep a roster spot the next four seasons, which featured a Stanley Cup for the Kings.
During the Cup run, the fifth-round pick played in 59 games and only recorded eight points. He played in 13 postseason games and missed the team’s first two playoff contests due to an emergency appendectomy. The 2012-13 season was Richardson’s last as he joined the Vancouver Canucks as a free agent during the offseason.
His time in Canada didn’t last long as he became a free agent once again in 2015 and signed with the Arizona Coyotes. Once Richardson arrived in the desert, he excelled. The forward registered a career-high 31 points and a plus-eight rating. His 2016-17 season was cut short after suffering a gruesome lower-body injury.
Despite the injury, he signed an extension with Arizona in July 2018 and is coming off a career-high 19 goals last season.
Wayne Simmonds — New Jersey Devils
Just like his former teammate in Schenn, Wayne Simmonds hit his prime and became a fan favorite after he left the Kings. The 61st-overall pick was selected by Los Angeles in the 2007 NHL Draft. He played in all 82 games his debut season in 2008-09 and collected 23 points.
The resilient two-way winger combined for 70 points the next two seasons before shipping off to Philadelphia in a trade that also involved Schenn. This is where Simmonds became a star in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Scarborough, Ontario native spent seven-plus seasons with the Flyers. He recorded 378 total points in that span, which included three consecutive seasons of 50 or more points. Simmonds ensured himself as a top versatile player – something that the Nashville Predators were intrigued in.
The Predators and Flyers agreed to deal Simmonds last season, which left a sour taste with the 2016-17 NHL All-Star Game MVP. His time in Nashville was short-lived with only 17 appearances in the regular season. Simmonds is now currently with the New Jersey Devils.
Jonathan Bernier — Detroit Red Wings
Another first-round Kings pick that is no longer with the franchise is Jonathan Bernier. The 11th-overall selection was drafted in 2006 and started four games in his debut season in 2007-08.
He blossomed into a solid goaltender during his time with the Monarchs. Between 2008 and 2010, Bernier combined for a 2.21 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage (SV%). His best campaign with Los Angeles came in 2010-11, where he registered an 11-8-3 record and a .913 SV%.
Five seasons and a Stanley Cup later, Bernier was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs and went 59-68-17 across three campaigns. The Laval, Quebec native had the best season of his career in 2016-17 when he was the backup goalie for the Anaheim Ducks.
His astounding 21-7-4 record helped the Ducks clinch the Pacific Division. They advanced all the way to the Western Conference Final but lost to the Predators in six games. He bounced to the Avalanche in 2017-18 and is now with the Detroit Red Wings.
Jack Johnson — Pittsburgh Penguins
Out of the five players mentioned, Jack Johnson spent the most time with the Kings. The 2005 third-overall pick was drafted by the Carolina Hurricanes, but didn’t see the ice with the franchise. Johnson was traded to the Kings in Sept. 2006 and spent five-plus seasons in Staples Center.
The Indianapolis native only appeared in five games in 2006-07 but picked it up soon after that. He combined for 124 points during his time in Los Angeles and tallied career-highs in scoring (8), assists (37) and points (42). The defender saw a sudden change of scenery when he was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2011-12 season.
Although he didn’t eclipse his numbers with the Kings, Johnson continued his consistent contribution and became an asset in the Blue Jackets lineup. In his seven-season tenure, Johnson registered 154 points, which included a 40-point 2014-15 season.
The Olympic silver medalist was rejoined with longtime friend Sidney Crosby in July 2018 when he signed a five-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
This first group of the decade had their share of the spotlight and left their mark with the Kings. However, their biggest contributions didn’t happen in Los Angeles.
Sara Biela is a Los Angeles Kings contributor for The Hockey Writers. Biela graduated from San Jose State University in 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She covered SJSU Athletics and the San Jose Sharks through the college’s student-run sports-media publication, The Spear.