Following a breakout rookie campaign, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Sean Durzi went under the knife today. The team reports that Durzi required shoulder surgery following the Kings’ playoff exit. Despite the delayed start to his offseason, Durzi is expected to be fully recovered in time for the start of the 2022-23 season.
Durzi, 23, led all of L.A.’s numerous rookies in scoring this season with 27 points in 64 games. Most of that scoring came via assists, but half of Durzi’s 24 helpers were primary assists, which was second-best among Kings’ defensemen and sixth on the team. Durzi didn’t forget about defense either; he led the team in blocked shots and led all defensemen in takeaways – and that was despite playing in only 64 games. Durzi’s stellar two-way play led to a gradual increase in responsibility that resulted in near 20 minutes of average ice time per night. Though he may not have received the same accolades as rookies across the league or even as some of the other young players in L.A., Durzi is coming off a terrific season.
The key now is making sure that he rehabs and heals correctly and is at full strength for a follow-up performance next season. Durzi joins Drew Doughty and Sean Walker as Kings defenders returning from injury and there will definitely be a power grab on the Kings’ blue line. Doughty, Walker, and Matt Roy will be returning veterans, while Durzi and Michael Anderson will be the standout youngsters and will also bring new contracts as restricted free agents this summer. Tobias Bjornfot, Jordan Spence, and Jacob Moverare will be budding young pros in the mix in L.A. as well. However, a healthy Durzi replicating his success from this season is a shoo-in for a top-four role despite the competition.
Durzi is not great defensively but he has elite offensive upside for a defenseman. Kings would be foolish to trade him.
88good ol days
I think his defense definitely showed he’s a rookie but that can and will be improved. His offense is already well above par so I think the Kings really have something with him. Excited for the future.
Walker will be 100% for training camp. This should be interesting.
He isn’t a shoo-in for a top 4 role. Roy and Doughty are likely the top 2 RD and Walker pretty likely for the third pair.
Still see them finding a defense-first LD for the top 4. Maybe via trade, plenty of Durzi types close to the NHL, they can afford to trade one.
Kings PP is going to trend upwards w/Walker coming back next season… time to take the next step, Kings!