Photo: Notre Dame defenseman and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Stephen Johns will cap off his college career with his most productive offensive season for the Fighting Irish (courtesy of Zumapress/Icon SMI)
This season, the NCAA features an array of outstanding NHL-drafted defensemen and many of them, particularly underclassmen, have been left off this year’s list. The ten defensemen ranked here are all having excellent seasons with their respective teams and have made tremendous strides in their development.
Photo: Kings back-up goaltender Martin Jones is one of several top prospects to have made an impact for the Kings at the NHL level in 2013-14 (courtesy of Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
The fall Top 20 list for the Los Angeles Kings saw the rise of some question marks about players like Jordan Weal, Nikolai Prokhorkin, and Jonny Brodzinski. Could they excel in new surroundings? Could they follow up strong years with better ones? How will they progress from the previous season?
Photo: The Kings prospect pool is heavy on two-way players like Andy Andreoff, a hard-nosed center who could see time on the bottom line in LA this season (courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Los Angeles Kings system, while you would expect a drop off in quality due to several playoff appearances in the last few years, has remained relatively strong.
Photo: St. Cloud State defenseman Kevin Gravel will look to take another step forward in his senior season after helping the Huskies to the 2013 Frozen Four (courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon SMI)
It seemed like across the board, be it CHL, NCAA, or AHL, the Los Angeles Kings organization had surprise and standout performances from multiple players.
Photo: Reigning top prospect Tyler Toffoli was named Rookie of the Year in the AHL before he stepped up with an excellent playoff performance for the Kings (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
The Los Angeles Kings did not have much time after a conference finals exit at the hands of the Blackhawks to ready themselves for the 2013 NHL Draft. Nonetheless the Kings managed to pick up several quality players, including what was widely considered the steal of the draft in Valentin Zykov.