Time and timing combined to assist
Time? The versatile Swedish forward arrived in training camp boosted by another year of professional experience last season at the minor league level on his resume. In fact, Kempe left his teen days behind not so long ago, turning 20 on Sept. 13.
Timing? Opportunities up front are there for the taking with the injury-riddled Kings. Winger
Kempe didn't fully anticipate being in the mix for a roster spot when he arrived in camp.
"Not really," he said. "I came over, like I really wanted to take a spot. That's been my goal, like last year too, just keep it my goal to make it. I made a good camp and I think I played good in the games too. I'm still up.
"I don't know what's going to happen after this weekend. We'll see what happens."
Among the top players not in the lineup for the Kings-
In the Kings’ 6-3 loss to the Stars, Kempe started off by centering
"In some ways, he's flown under the radar here," Sutter said after Friday's morning skate. "Others have been given credit, or assumptions, but he's clearly outplayed them."
Kempe played 55 games with the Kings’
"He's just a year older, just straight maturity," Sutter said. "… With the hockey IQ he has and the speed that he has, the only adjustment is experience. He's adjusted to the ice and you can see that. He's a fun player to watch."
Among the players not in Las Vegas is defenseman
"Scuds has had a tough camp," Sutter said. "He's only been in one game and, in another game, he was slotted in and he wasn't healthy to go. Dean sat down with him yesterday or the day before and went over it."
Scuderi, 37, was a big part of the Kings’ first