Underrated and Underappreciated: Jake Muzzin Is The Real Deal

Owned in 48.8% of leagues

Average Draft Position: 190.7

When I was planning my draft strategy, waiting for the clock to strike zero on a random person too busy attending to his nachos than realizing that it was his pick,  my mouse hovered over Jake Muzzin.

It can’t be. Can it? Why is he still available?!

I couldn’t fathom that Muzzin, who plays with Drew Doughty, arguably the league’s best defenseman, could still be scooped up.

Muzzin had the press buzzin’ after his stellar playoff performance, where he scored six goals and tallied 12 total points. While playing over 22 minutes per contest during the Stanley Cup run, Muzzin played an integral role in the Kings hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Protecting Jonathan Quick, Jake Muzzin is possibly the most overlooked member of the Kings. (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
Protecting Jonathan Quick, Jake Muzzin is possibly the most overlooked member of the Kings. (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Muzzin is a gritty, defensively sound player. Boasting a career high 4.4 defensive point shares this past season, Muzzin can hold his own in Los Angeles’ defensive zone. He can play at any time during the game, providing lineup versatility. However, he is not given the chance to thrive.

Playing with Drew Doughty? On the first line? And this moron says he hasn’t had enough opportunities?

First of all, Muzzin plays in Daryl Sutter’s bland-as-vanilla-without-sprinkles defensive system, which takes away many of his offensive opportunities. Also, when playing alongside the likes of Doughty, Anze Kopitar, and Marian Gaborik, Muzzin isn’t asked to carry the weight offensively. However, if one looks closely, Muzzin can be fantasy threat and provide previously unexpected offensive punch.

Of defensemen with over 500 minutes of ice time during the 2013-2014 season, Muzzin ranked fourth in the league in individual Fenwick per 60 minutes. Behind Erik Karlsson, Dustin Byfuglien, and Alexander Edler, I’d say Muzzin finds himself in some pretty decent company. Muzzin also ranks third in individual Corsi per 60 minutes. Quietly, Muzzin’s stellar play has forced himself into the conversation of most underrated defenseman in the league.

Can Muzzin keep it up? I’d bet on it. Coming into a contract year, the 25 year old from Woodstock, Canada is only scratching the surface of his potential and could become a force in the NHL. As for my draft, Muzzin was gobbled up the pick before me. Just my luck.

 

Agree? Disagree? Comment your opinion in the comments section!

 

Note: Muzzin’s fantasy numbers are based off of 2014-2015 ESPN drafts.