While Jacob Moverare has made the Los Angeles Kings look very good this season with his outstanding defensive play, it may be a while before we see him in California on a regular basis. With that said, however, the Kings do have another one of their prospects with the Mississauga Steelheads, who is wrapping up his overage season and thus, stirring excitement for the short-term future.
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Drafted in the seventh round (209th overall) by the Kings in 2014, Spencer Watson was acquired by the Steelheads in early November from the Kingston Frontenacs. In the deal, the Frontenacs received a pair of second-round picks, a third-rounder and a conditional seventh-round choice from the Steelheads. Following off-season wrist surgery, though, Watson was not able to suit up for the Steelheads until just before the Christmas break.
The wait proved to be worthwhile.
In four seasons with the Frontenacs, Watson played in 233 games, scoring 119 goals and adding 129 assists for 248 points. Needless to say, the Steelheads had acquired Watson for his fire power and the native of London, Ont., did not disappoint.
After netting a hat-trick in his first game with the Steelheads on Dec. 9 against the London Knights, Watson was only getting started. In 41 games for the Steelheads during the regular season, the soon-to-be 21-year-old registering 28 goals and 53 points, showing no ill effects from his wrist injury. During these playoffs, Watson has been even better, scoring 13 goals in 13 games while adding seven assists along the way, posing as a major factor for the Steelheads’ impressive postseason run this spring.
With as much skill as he has to offer, though, Spencer Watson does have something that doesn’t sit in his favour: his size or, better yet, a lack thereof.
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Standing at just 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Watson’s diminutive frame may be a hindrance at the next level. Then again, maybe not. One thing is for certain, though: Watson was drafted by a Kings team which has heavily emphasized the importance of size over the last few years. Said emphasis is what helped the Kings win two Stanley Cups in three years but, in fairness, it has played a declining factor in recent years as the silver-and-black have now missed the playoffs twice in their last three seasons. In addition, Dean Lombardi, who emphasized said size factor as the Kings’ GM, is no longer with the club, which means that a change in philosophy may be on the horizon in the City of Angels.
Until then, though, Spencer Watson is making the most of his overage season. Set to turn 21 this coming Tuesday, the perennial scoring threat is determined to finish his junior career as a champion.
As of now, Watson’s Mississauga Steelheads are playing in their first conference final in franchise history as they, as of Monday afternoon, hold a 2-0 series lead against the Peterborough Petes with a chance to extend that lead at home on Monday night.
Whether we see him in Manchester, Ontario or even Los Angeles next season, we should be excited for the present as Spencer Watson is in the midst of ending his junior career on the highest note while, in the process, making the future of the Kings that much brighter.