Jared Aulin- A Key for the Kings

By Tony Calfo

Jared Aulin may turn out to be a first line NHL center, which would suit the Kings just fine. But the Kings have to hope he is more for alot of reasons.

It is becoming clear that the Blake trade has been a positive in the short term. Adam Deadmarsh and Aaron Miller have made the Kings tougher and better on special teams, and the result is the current playoff run. But this trade was made for the long term, and what will that mean?

Jared Aulin will always represent the Rob Blake trade. While the merits of the trade can be discussed for many years to come, the fact is that the Kings will never have what Blake brought- a hammer on the blue line that hit and shot harder than anyone. The Kings seem to be comfortable with that fact and they feel what they acquired in his stead will counteract any losses on the blue line. For fans, Aulin will be the lynchpin on the deal- something that the Kings had for free- a prospect selected by a top team. The Kings’ penchant for blowing first round picks was taken out of the equation here- the pick has been made and they only have to enjoy the results even if they blow the pick that came with Aulin.

The other factor is that Aulin’s emergence can give the Kings some legitimate top prospects. As Frolov and Lehoux continue to impress, the Kings now have a third top forward prospect. If Shefer, Baker or any other forward come along, then DT will have the depth the Kings have lacked at every position in the system. That would make his job a success and make alot of people not necessarily forget Rob Blake, but remember how good the trade was.

Here is a look at Jared Aulin, courtesy of the Avalanche page on Hockey’s Future:

History
Ranked 20th on the Central Scouting Service Mid-Term Report, his final ranking is 39th … Selected 6th overall in the 1997 WHL bantam draft … Played for the Western Conference in the 2000 WHL All Star Game … Participated in the 2000 NHL/CHL Top Prospects Game … Was an alternate captain for the Blazers this season … Finished fifth in team scoring this year with 17 goals and 38 assists in 57 games … Played through a series of injuries this season … Was named the WHL’s Western Conference Player of the Month for October this season … Helped Kamloops to the WHL Finals in 1998-99 … Captured a Gold Medal with Canada in the under-18 1999 Four Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic … Won a Gold Medal with Team Alberta in the 1999 Canada Games.

Talent Analysis
Jared Aulin is a gifted offensive player….quick off the mark, exceptional speed with the puck and sees the ice very well for a young player. Jared has a great shot with a quick release….isn’t afraid to get involved physically…very good at positioning himself when playing down low, enabling him to strip bigger, stronger opponents of the puck….won’t back down from a challenge but is smart enough not to be taken off the ice by a less skilled player just to show toughness….needs to work on playing in his own end and has been doing this while toiling on Kamloops fourth line….Jared has also seen time on the point during the powerplay earlier this season but lately is becoming more of a role player as Kamloops works toward a run at the League Championship. Playing with a winner this year should help Jared learn what it takes to be successful in the future.

Future
CSR:

A good skater with decent acceleration and good lateral movement … A good puckhandler who plays a finesse-style of game … Very good in one-on-one situations … Has good hockey sense and strong playmaking and passing skills … Is used on the power play and penalty kill … A dangerous offensive player in open ice.

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