Kyle Clifford
Kyle Clifford
28-Year-Old Left WingLW
Los Angeles Kings
2019 Fantasy Outlook
While the classic fists-first enforcer is a dinosaur in the current era, Clifford is the modern equivalent, attempting to change the momentum of a game with his physical play rather than his scoring prowess. The 28-year-old has racked up triple-digit hits in every season of his career despite bouncing between the fourth line and the press box and never averaging even 11 minutes of ice time a night. That said, Clifford did produce a career-high 11 goals and 21 points last season, getting additional offensive opportunities as a struggling Kings team scrambled for answers. He might not get those chances again in 2019-20, as Los Angeles will likely turn to younger prospects instead during the club's rebuild, but Clifford should still provide a steadying presence in a bottom-six role. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a five-year, $8 million contract extension with the Kings in February 2015.
Two-assist performance
LWLos Angeles Kings
October 6, 2019
Clifford had two assists and was plus-2 with one shot on goal in Saturday's 6-5 loss to Edmonton.
Skating on a line with Trevor Lewis and Michael Amadio, Clifford helped set up a goal by each of his linemates in the Kings' season opener. That production came despite Clifford logging the least amount of playing time (7:26) of anyone in the LA lineup. He will likely remain in a bottom-six role for the Kings.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Unless your league rewards physical play, Clifford doesn't really have much value. He's never topped 15 points in a season, and his PIM numbers has diminished quite a bit from the 100-plus totals he put up in his first two NHL campaigns. His best quality is his ability to dish out hits, as he recorded 81 in just 50 games last season, so if you're in a deep league that values defense, he could be worth a look. Otherwise, you'll have no trouble finding better options.
The veteran winger is responsible in his own end and has improved his possession game over the years. He posted a career-high 2.9 Relative Corsi For percentage last season -- a comparison of possession value against the rest of the team -- which was the first time he recorded a positive mark in the category. Considering his limited puck skills and offensive ability, that's an encouraging sign for his long-term chance of sticking in the league. After all, Clifford's rambunctious physicality and willingness to drop the gloves are his calling card at the highest level. As a result, he's still a service fantasy asset in formats including PIM and hits. Clifford just can't be counted on to put up viable offensive numbers.
Clifford has led the Kings in PIMs in each of his four seasons, though his totals have dropped in each season. He's one of the lowest possession-time forwards on the Kings and finished with the lowest point totals among regulars, but doesn't seem to be on the verge of losing his spot in the lineup. He'll return in a bottom-six role for the Kings.
Clifford parlayed some strong play at the start of the season into a regular role with the Kings, posting 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 48 games. He's young enough (22) to take a step forward offensively, but doesn't ever figure to put up more than a dozen goals in the NHL. He'll give the Kings some young legs, but limited offensive upside in a third or fourth line role again.
Clifford had a forgettable regular season (five goals and seven assists in 81 games) before suffering a concussion in the Kings' first playoff game and playing in just two postseason games after that. He's still just 21 and has the ability to move up to a third-line role, but the Kings have a host of left wingers competing with Clifford for a roster spot. He has the ability to put up double-digit goal totals, but the emergence of guys like Kyle Westgarth and Jordan Nolan muddy his outlook.
Clifford filled the pugilist role for the Kings with Wayne Simmonds moving up the lineup and rewarded his owners with 141 PIMs in 76 games. He's never going to score much, though he did tally five points in six playoff games, and doesn't see much ice time but figures to be a nightly presence in the Kings' lineup for those looking for some goon points.
Clifford has the size (6'1", 200 pounds) to play in the NHL right now and could conceivably push for a roster spot this year after spending the last three years in the OHL if the Kings decide to add some grit to their lineup but his offensice game isn't ready for the NHL just yet. He's likely ticketed for the AHL this season.
Clifford was a bit of a reach when the Kings took him in the second round of the '09 entry draft but the Kings like his work ethic. His future is more of a rugged, physical forward who doesn't figure to light the lamp very often.
More Fantasy News
Earns Gordie Howe hat trick
LWLos Angeles Kings
April 2, 2019
Clifford did it all with a goal, an assist, and 17 PIM in a 3-1 win over the Coyotes on Tuesday.
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Earns assist in overtime win
LWLos Angeles Kings
March 30, 2019
Clifford delivered an assist, four shots and two PIM in Saturday's 3-2 overtime win against the Blackhawks.
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Plucks apple
LWLos Angeles Kings
March 25, 2019
Clifford registered an assist in Monday's 3-0 win over the Flames.
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Scores first career power-play goal
LWLos Angeles Kings
March 23, 2019
Clifford found twine on the power play and added three shots in Saturday's 4-3 shootout win over the Ducks.
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Drops gloves in loss
LWLos Angeles Kings
March 19, 2019
Clifford committed a five-minute fighting major in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Jets.
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