The Michigan Wolverines won the Big Ten championship this weekend, and Zach Werenski led the way with an unbelievable performance. Also in this weeks Prospect Impressions, an AHL veteran joins a small group of players to pull off a special goal. Thatcher Demko is in the news again thanks to his desperate save in a clutch situation, and Stuart Skinner is another goaltender in the news but for something you wouldn’t expect. Plenty more highlights are featured, including a 50-goal scorer and a great scrap from the OHL. Read more»
The Kings have a fairly large group of CHL representatives this year, many coming out of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry drafts. While they have a large numbers of players, they have few upper-round picks representing the team. They also are strictly limited to just two leagues of the CHL: the WHL and the OHL. With eleven players currently playing in the CHL, only two are from the first three rounds of the draft. The Kings are going to need some late rounders to blossom (and they have a few on their way) to really make the best out of a group full of outliers and depth players.
It really can be hard to nail down whether or not the Kings system took a step back or forward over the course of a year. The team has traded away tons of picks and prospects in order to go into a win-now mode. That has significantly lessened the top end prospect quality that the franchise has currently. Moving potentially high level players like Colin Miller (BOS) – and to a lesser degree Roland McKeown (CAR) – has been costly for the system. However, the Kings have continued to thrive and make up a lot of the void in smart player development.
It will be hard for some of the Los Angeles Kings prospects to top their respective 2014-15 seasons. There was a Calder Cup Championship, a Memorial Cup Championship, a Slovak Extraliga title, and a number of other MVP-worthy and team-leading performances spread across the pipeline.