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»
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 Los Angeles Kings have always had a tie to collegiate hockey. The pipeline in the pro ranks includes former NCAA talents like Michael Mersch, Kevin Gravel, Derek Forbort, Nic Dowd, Joel Lowry, Nick Shore and Johnny Brodzinski. Now, the Kings are looking at a much thinner and less diverse group of NCAA prospects. Read more»
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.
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.