Jamie McBain Thriving in New Role with Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings were hoping a former Buffalo Sabres blueliner would help round out the back end in 2014-15.

However, they probably weren’t expecting it to be Jamie McBain.

Brayden McNabb was brought over last season in a trade that sent prospects Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers to Buffalo. John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor reported in July that L.A. would grant the 23-year-old a fair crack at a second-pairing spot.

Meanwhile, McBain joined the club on November 11 after a five-game midseason stint with the Kings’ AHL affiliate (Manchester Monarchs).

For all the noise McNabb generates with his crunching hits, though, it’s McBain who has quietly delivered the superior play, bolstering a third unit that was weakened when Alec Martinez climbed higher in the lineup.

With Robyn Regehr on the shelf and Slava Voynov still suspended, McBain’s performances have somewhat mitigated the blue line’s depletion.


Even Strength

In 2013-14, McBain logged 16 minutes and 26 seconds of even-strength ice time per game to rank fourth on Buffalo’s blue line. This season, he ranks last among Kings defensemen with an average of 11 even-strength minutes per game.

Obviously, his workload is lighter in L.A.

So how has he fared with fewer responsibilities? Since he’s a puck-mover at heart, it’s certainly promising to see him near the top of the team’s defense in key offensive metrics:

On the season, he has seven points in 15 games, which Hockey-Reference.com indicates is good for the second-highest point-per-game mark of his career. 

As a King, though, he must be counted on to play in his end as well. This is where he’s offered the most pleasant surprise, boasting the third-lowest on-ice goals-against average among the club's rearguards.
Article Source: Bleacher Report - Los Angeles Kings