Heading into All-Star weekend, one of the biggest surprises for the Kings this season has been rookie forward Kyle Clifford. He made the team as a long shot, then was expected to be sent back to juniors before playing in his 10th game.
That never happened, as his willingness to drop the gloves and go into the dirty areas on the ice won praise from his coaches and teammates, and turned the 20-year-old Ontario native into a fan favorite.
Here' Clifford in a long battle earlier this week against Boston veteran enforcer Shawn Thornton. Here's Clifford dropping Brandon Segal of Dallas in one of his first NHL bouts. Here he is stepping up in weight class to take on George Parros of Anaheim, and here he is destroying Brad Staubitz of Minnesota.
Clifford took a moment before taking the All-Star break to discuss his role on the Kings, and how he hopes to eventually be known more for his all-around play than his fighting ability. Note: the marks on Clifford's face are from the Thornton scrap.