Kings AHL prospects update

By Gregory Maker

Goaltenders

Adam Hauser – In his second season with the Kings AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs, back-up goaltender Adam Hauser is solid, with a 11-4-0 record in 16 games. The former University of Minnesota star has seen his GAA decrease to 1.85 from 1.94 in 43 games from last season and his save percentage go up to .935 from .926 a year ago. Hauser was signed as a free agent by the Kings in 2004.

Defensemen

Denis Grebeshkov – The 21-year-old Russian, taken 18th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, is the “jewel” of the Kings system. In 47 games this year, he leads all Monarchs defensemen with 31 points including 27 assists. His 31 points place him tied for fourth among AHL defensemen while his 27 assists are tied with Milwaukee’s Andrew Hutchinson for second among league defensemen. He is currently a +15. Grebeshkov played four games last season in Los Angeles recording one assist. The 6’1 195-pounder should be a serious contender for a position on an aging Kings defense when NHL operations resume.

Tim Gleason – Gleason is looking like the player the Kings wanted when they traded Bryan Smolinski to Ottawa for him at the 2003 trade deadline. Playing 47 games last season on an injury-plagued Kings team, he recorded 7 points, all assists. This season, Gleason is second among Monarchs defensemen with 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) and is currently a +15.

Forwards

Dustin Brown – After being selected 13th overall by the Kings at the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Brown was thrown right into the Kings line-up last season. In 31 games, he recorded five points (1 goal, 4 assists) for Los Angeles. The 20-year-old is almost certain to be in the Kings line-up when operations resume. Brown is a strong offensive presence for Manchester. At 6’1 203 pounds, the Ithaca, NY native has compiled 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists) in 47 games for the Monarchs. He is tied for second on the team with eight power play goals on the fourth best unit in the AHL. Brown is only a +4 on a Manchester team that has no minus players.

Michael Cammalleri – Cammalleri is back in his third stint with the Monarchs in as many years. Last season with the Kings, he recorded 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists) in 31 games. In 41 games with Manchester, Cammalleri recorded 39 points (20 goals, 19 assists). The 5’9 180-pounder has surpassed that mark this season. Cammalleri is second in league scoring behind only Binghamton’s Jason Spezza with 69 points (30 goals, 39 assists) in 48 games. He leads the Monarchs in goals, assists, points, shots, and leads the AHL in power play goals with 14, leading to a selection to Team Canada in the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic. The 20-year-old was drafted taken by the Kings in the second round (49th overall) in 2001.

Petr Kanko – In his first full season in pro hockey, the Czech native is currently third on the Monarchs with 93 penalty minutes. He has adjusted his game from OHL hockey, where he was a point producer, to a grinder as he helps clear the way for the AHL’s top offense. Kanko has 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) in 46 games for the Monarchs. He is only +2, but proves his worth to the Monarchs with his hard-nosed play.

Greg Hogeboom – This Miami-Ohio product has played in only 12 games this season due to injuries. Hogeboom missed two weeks in November with a separated shoulder before returning to the line-up. He then tore a carpal ligament in his wrist on December 5 against Hartford. If he is to return at all the season for Manchester, it will not be until mid-March. In the 12 games he has played in this season, the 6’0 190-pounder has only one goal. Hogeboom has one year remaining on his contract.

Yanick Lehoux – In his third season in Manchester, the 22-year-old has already surpassed last season’s totals of goals, assists, and points. In 38 games this year, Lehoux is second on the Monarchs in points (54) goals (23) and assists (31), behind only All-Star Mike Cammalleri earning him a spot on Team Canada in the upcoming AHL All-Star Classic. He leads the league in shooting percentage with 25.3 percent on 91 shots. However, he will not be playing in that game, nor any other games this season for the Monarchs due to a knee injury suffered in a game against Worcester. Lehoux played well defensively also, currently at a +13. Lehoux is probably ready for a taste of the NHL, but his knee will have to heal up before he gets the chance.

Noah Clarke – In 47 games this season with the Monarchs, Clarke is on pace to pass last season’s scoring output. He has 35 points (16 goals, 19 assists) and is third on the Monarchs with a +18 rating. Clarke is a superb penalty killer and leads the AHL in short-handed goals with four. Clarke’s downfall is his size at only 5’9 175 pounds. Time is now working against him too, at age 25. He played two games for Los Angeles last season recording one assist. Clarke has gotten only one-year deals over the last few seasons leaving his future in the Kings organization uncertain.

George Parros – At 6’5, 215 pounds, Parros is an enforcer, but has passed last season’s point total in 40 games with 12 points, and more than doubling his goal total from last season with seven. Parros is second on the Monarchs in penalty minutes with 120, compared to 126 all of last season. Parros played three games with Reading of the ECHL this year where he did not record a point, but took nine penalty minutes. The 25-year-old NCAA grad is currently doing what he was brought in to do.

Matt Ryan – The undrafted 21-year-old is having a good season in his first year of pro hockey, with 19 points (6 goals, 13 assists) in 48 games this year. He is also a solid defensive player with a +10 rating. Ryan may be a real good find for the Kings who gave him a three-year contract at the beginning of this season. A 42-goal scorer in the OHL last season, Ryan has a long way to reach that at the professional level, but if he keeps improving he will have a good shot.

David Steckel – The former first round pick (30th overall, 2001) has proven to be a disappointment in pro hockey thus far. At 6’5 215 pounds, the former Ohio State player will have to use his size more to be more effective. In 36 games with the Monarchs this season, Steckel has 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) and is only +1, near the bottom of the team. He has played nine games this season for Reading of the ECHL recording 9 points (3 goals, 6 assists).

Dan Welch – In his third season with the Monarchs, Welch has 8 points (3 goals, 5 assists) in 35 games. Welch has played in four games with Reading of the ECHL this season recording 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists). Welch will be 24 this month.

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