Around the Kings System

By Tony Calfo

While the Kings’ season has not started well, the prospects that comprise the rejuvenated Kings’ farm system are enjoying fine seasons. Here is a quick look around the system:

The top guns of the system, Alexander Frolov, Jared Aulin and Yannick Lehoux are all starting out their seasons in fire. Frolov has already potted 8 goals in 13 games in the low scoring Russian Super League he plays in. Aulin has 17 points in 9 games following a longer-than-expected stay in camp where he nearly made the Kings big team. Lehoux has 15 goals and 19 points in a mere 10 games. Lehoux in carving a niche as the premiere short-handed goal scorer in the minor leagues.

College stars Mike Cammalleri and David Steckel have started out their seasons strongly. Cammalleri used the stage of a 70 thousand-plus outdoor crown against rival Michigan state to score two goals and add an assist. David Steckel has a goal and two assists in two games for Ohio State.

Fellow Ohio State star Jason Crain, who is coming off of an off season in 2000-01, has been named captain at Ohio State and is already a +2 after two games. Crain was a cherished prospect before last season and Kings’ management is watching and hoping his development continues.

Future King enforcer Kip Brennan has not found the AHL to his liking yet. Brennan was beaten badly by AHL veteran Mel Angelstad in Portland. Kip has only played three games so far and his development has to be a priority for the enforcer-less Kings. (Thanks Earl)

Andrei Shefer is scoreless in 6 games for Severstal Cherpovets in the Russian League.

The Kings’ defense on Lowell is encouraging. Though young, players like Joe Rullier, Richard Seeley, Tomas Zizka and Mike Pudlick are receiving valuable experience. The problem as I see it is that there are no true forward prospects on their own AHL team. Randy Robitaille, Brad Chartrand and Scott Thomas are all older, fringe NHL players who are leading the team in scoring. Kip Brennan and Adam Mair is about the closest to forward prospects for the Monarchs, and they are not scorers. It seems a shame not to have any of their own offensive forwards on the team, and I would think that they were not hoping that the recently demoted Jaroslav Bednar would be the prospect to change that.

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