Kings’ Offense Has Benefited From Anderson-Dolan’s Impressive Play

Jaret Anderson-Dolan was born in Calgary, Alberta, where he played youth hockey before moving on to play for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft, 41st overall. He continued to play for the Chiefs through the 2018-19 season, while also playing some games with the Ontario Reign, and a few with the Kings.

Jaret Anderson-Dolan Los Angeles Kings
Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Los Angeles Kings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Last season, Anderson-Dolan played his first full season in the Kings organization. He played 53 games with the Reign, posting 28 points. He added four games with the Kings, but he was not able to put up a point. So far this season, he has played exclusively for the Kings, and he has made a good impression.

Anderson-Dolan’s 2020-21 Season so Far

Anderson-Dolan has been a key player for the Kings in the games he has played this season. This impressive play has come primarily in the form of offensive impact. In the six games he has played, he has posted three goals and two assists, totaling five points. This equates to 0.83 points per game (P/GP), fourth on the team. He has also made the most of the 82 minutes he has played this season, as he has shown a team-best 3.96 points per 60 minutes (PTS/60).

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Anderson-Dolan has also been the best on the Kings when it comes to his 56.16% expected goals for percentage (xGF%). This means that LA has been expected to outscore their opponent while he is on the ice by a larger margin than when any other King is on the ice. Further, he has posted the best goals for per 60 rate (GF/60) on the team, 3.53 so far this season.

The great offensive contributions of Anderson-Dolan have been noted in his overall impact, demonstrated by his wins above replacement per 60 rate (WAR/60) of 0.249, the best on the Kings so far this season. Though the sample size we’ve seen from him is a factor to consider, he has been a great asset for the Kings in the six games he has played.

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Unfortunately, Anderson-Dolan was injured in a game versus the Arizona Coyotes in late February. He was projected to return earlier this month, but he has not resurfaced yet. With how long he has been out, one can assume that he is close to returning. Once he does get back into the lineup, it will be interesting to see how he performs. Ideally, he will be able to pick up right where he left off, but in all likelihood, that won’t be the case. It may take him some time to return to how he was playing before his injury, but for the sake of the team’s offensive numbers, hopefully it doesn’t take too long.

Anderson-Dolan Will Look to Continue to Help the Kings’ Offense Once He Returns

It has been no secret that the Kings have not performed well offensively when it comes to 5-on-5 play. It is due to their spectacular power play, currently ranked seventh in the league at 26.6%, that the team has been able to stay with their opponents. LA’s 2.11 5-on-5 GF/60 this season ranks them 25th in the league, and their 5-on-5 expected goals for per 60 rate (xGF/60) of 2.03 puts them at 28th in the league. At 5-on-5 play, the team’s xGF% ranks last in the league, showing a dreadful 45.41% thus far.

Los Angeles Kings celebrate
Los Angeles Kings celebrate (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

If Anderson-Dolan can play the rest of the season showing numbers even close to those that he posted before he was injured, it could go a long way in helping the Kings’ offensive statistics. The veteran forwards have done most of the heavy lifting when it comes to scoring goals, and one of the keys to LA’s success that we have seen this season is to have more secondary scoring, especially from younger players. Anderson-Dolan could play an important role specifically when it comes to the bottom of the lineup getting on the scoresheet. That is, if he can bounce back from his injury.

The Kings have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL, and there is the most competition for forwards. Anderson-Dolan might be overshadowed sometimes by some of the other highly-anticipated players in the team’s system, Quinton Byfield and Alex Turcotte, for example, but LA has given him a shot this season. If he continues to impress, he could find himself a spot on the Kings long-term.

Advanced Stats per Evolving-Hockey.

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