2010 started a new trend in drafting for the Los Angeles Kings. Instead of dealing with a heavy amount of picks and prospects, like the 10 selections they had in the 2009 and 2007 NHL Drafts, and the nine they had in 2008, the Kings started drafting fewer prospects. By virtue of success, and win-now trades, the Kings started depleting their cupboard and drafting opportunities in order to be a competitive team at the NHL level. Read more»
After a big move from the east coast to the west coast, and a name change, not much else has changed. The newly-branded Ontario Reign are coming into this season as defending champions of the AHL, and they are playing like it early on. Part of the reason is that the Los Angeles Kings have a pretty loaded group of AHL prospects. While other systems may have a high amount of CHL or college prospects, most of the Kings’ picks from years past are now at the AHL level. Surprisingly though, only one of the players is a first round selection (Adrian Kempe).
Hockey is a tough sport with a lot to think about and a lot of moving parts on the ice. There is the physical aspect as well as the mental aspect that players have to develop. In the early stages of their career it is not uncommon to see one fall a step behind the other. The Kings have six prospects playings in the NCAA ranks and overseas, and most of them have endured seasons of struggles with a steep learning curve. Some, like Nikolai Prokhorkin, are battling mental challenges, while others like Adrian Kempe are battling the physical challenges. Either way it has made for a year filled with growing pains that will hopefully better these players as they move forward in their careers.
This season, the Ivy League members of the ECAC feature a combined 23 NHL prospects representing four of the six schools. Harvard leads the group with 10 prospects, followed by Cornell with seven. Dartmouth and Princeton are the only Ivy League members without an NHL prospect on their rosters. Read more»
Without having too many high selections in recent drafts, the Los Angeles Kings have done quite well in growing their pipeline in areas of need. While the graduation of Martin Jones does hurt the goalie pipeline, they continue to stock up on useful centers and defenseman. While the wings might not be top-tier, there are some role players and quality players peppered throughout.