LA Kings Center Trevor Lewis May Never Be A Sniper, But…
February 2, 2011 4 Comments
EL SEGUNDO, CA — Even with the Los Angeles Kings underachieving in a big way to this point in the season, one bit of a bright spot has been the emergence of center Trevor Lewis as a reliable player who can provide energy, put in a solid effort as a checking forward, and be a stalwart on the penalty-kill.
To be sure, an argument can easily be made that the 24-year-old native of Salt Lake City, Utah is a bust, given that he was a first round selection (17th overall) by the Kings in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Indeed, one would expect more of a scoring touch from a player drafted in that position.
In fact, Lewis played in just two of the Kings’ first eleven games at the start of the season. But since November 4, 2010, he has played every game.
“He was not in the lineup at the start of the year,” head coach Terry Murray said with a big smile. “We had other players who were in front of him, but he was very patient, he continued to work hard in practice, and had the right attitude. He got his chance on the fourth line, and, to me, he always played really well when he was into the game.”
“It’s nice to get some consistency in there, play every night and try to find a groove,” said Lewis, who has scored two goals and has tallied three assists for five points in 42 games this season. “I think I just stayed positive when I wasn’t playing, and worked hard. I kind of worked through it and found my game. Hopefully, I can just keep going.”
The challenge for any young player who is spending more time out of the lineup than suited up and on the ice is maintaining a positive attitude.
To his credit, Lewis never sulked.
“Everyone wants to play every night, that’s kind of a given,” he noted. “It’s a pretty tough thing to stay positive, but that’s all you can do. You’ve got to stay positive and help the team out any way you can. If it’s someone else in the lineup, hey, you’ve got to do it.”
“It’s human nature [to feel sorry for yourself],” he added. “But you’ve got to tell yourself, ‘hey, you’re going to get your chance, just keep working hard.’ You’ve got to outwork everyone else and prove that you want to play.”
“Whenever I got my chance, I just kept it simple, worked hard, and did the right things, the little things. I tried to be consistent.”
One of those little things is his biggest weapon…his speed.
“He’s got great composure, he has the ability to carry the puck out of his own end with speed and confidence, and get us out of trouble any time we were in those situations,” said Murray.
“I just talked to the coaching staff,” Lewis said about trying to learn what he had to do to improve his game. “What they emphasized was my speed and that I have to use it to get in on the forecheck and get pucks stopped. It’s a big part of my game, and I just have to keep using it.”
Another knock on the 6-1, 195-pound center was that he was too soft along the boards and in the corners. But Lewis has improved in those areas as well.
“That was a big commitment in the off-season, just getting stronger,” said Lewis. “It’s a big part, mentally, too, staying focused and telling yourself that you’re not going to lose this battle.”
“It probably goes back to the last couple of years [with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate],” Murray explained. “That’s where you learn your trade. You go through your fundamentals and you learn how to be a pro.”
“In his case, he spent lot of time in the summers working out to get stronger,” Murray elaborated. “His endurance and stamina is much better today than what it was, even when we saw him last year. There were four or five games that he played, and then there was a big drop-off in his energy.”
Lewis is now seeing time centering the Kings’ third line, moving up from the fourth, playing with left wings Kyle Clifford or Alexei Ponikarovsky and right wing Wayne Simmonds.
“That’s a reward for that kind of play on the fourth line,” said Murray. “He gets moved up [to the third line], he’s on a pretty good line right now, they play with energy, they play the system the right way, they’re getting opportunities.”
“I just hope that he breaks through with some offense on the production side of things,” added Murray. “He does show the ability to take a look, make the right decision with the puck, getting it to the net. He’s coming along. Now he’s just growing up. He handled his time in the trenches the right way. He just continued to work hard and develop.”
Raw audio interview with Trevor Lewis
(2:45; edited to remove extraneous material and dead air)
Frozen Royalty by Gann Matsuda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Frozen Royalty – Licensing and Copyright Information.