Photo: Lake Erie Monsters goaltender and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Joonas Korpisalo was a top performer for the Monsters in their opening round sweep of the Rockford IceHogs in the 2016 AHL playoffs (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
Four teams remain in the AHL Western Conference playoff race that kicks off Thursday in California and in Cleveland.
The two matchups feature teams that met several times in the 2015-16 season, so both series could potentially go the full seven games. Read more»
Photo: LA Kings prospect Michael Amadio is engaged in a tough second-round playoff series but the veteran OHL player might still will his team to a comeback (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The Los Angeles Kings are into the NHL postseason, facing the San Jose Sharks in what should be one of the best first-round series. The Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, have clinched their division and are also into the postseason. The Kings also have had players with amazing junior seasons – Spencer Watson and Michael Amadio in particular – and can boast of one with an NCAA national title (Paul LaDue). Read more»
Photo: LA Kings top prospect Adrian Kempe plays an advanced pro game despite being still just 19 years old (courtesy of Lee Calkins)
The Los Angeles Kings system remains robust in role players, grinders, and two-way defensemen. This has always seemed to be the case. However, the organization is starting to see a nice evolution from a few players within the system. When you have so few high end picks, you have to hope for the growth of the Mersch’s, the Dowd’s, and the Auger’s of the pipeline to come through for you in filling in the gaps. While some of these players are in the very nascent stages of their careers and development paths, they are starting to rise just like the development team had hoped.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings prospect Nick Ebert has offensive skills that could translate to the NHL level but needs to use his time in the AHL developing a better sense of when to make safe defensive plays (courtesy of David Sheehan)
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).
Photo: University of Denver forward and Boston Bruins prospect Danton Heinen was a scoring star in his freshman season, posting 16 goals and 45 points in 40 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Corey Silvia/Icon Sportswire)
In 2015-16, the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) features 45 NHL prospects representing all member schools, with each team having at least two prospects on their respective rosters. North Dakota leads with 12 prospects, followed by Nebraska-Omaha with nine. Read more»