With the Manchester Monarchs losing four incredibly key players to NHL call-ups, you would expect that the team would struggle this year with a lack of scoring or depth. However, with several new players and old role players stepping up, the Monarchs have remained an incredibly competitive hockey team and sit atop the AHL's Eastern Conference.
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.
Over the years the Los Angeles Kings' scouting staff has developed a solid reputation of selecting, signing, and developing NCAA athletes. General Manager Dean Lombardi has been pretty adamant in the belief that NCAA hockey helps players mature physically and mentally before making way into the world of professional hockey. Current Kings Alec Martinez, Jonathan Quick, Matt Greene, and Rob Scuderi are just a few names on the current Kings roster who have played at the collegiate level, and in the minor leagues the organization has several former and current collegiate players edging closer to the NHL.
For many years running now the Los Angeles Kings have had one of the best youth systems in the NHL. However, with promotions of players, deals involving picks, and later round selections, the pool has diminished slightly over time. It is the natural progression of a rebuilding mode that has given the organization three top-five picks since 2007 and seven top-15 picks since 2005.