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.
It is crazy what a difference a year can make for a hockey player. Hockey has ebbs and flows game to game, but sometimes year to year, as well. The Los Angeles Kings prospect pool has endured a lot of turnover in the last few seasons. As some old assets have come and gone, new faces have arrived and new players have risen. Read more»
In recent years the Los Angeles Kings have brought in many players from the OHL, and it has been met with a fair amount of success. Tanner Pearson, Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff;. the list of OHL draftees is long and successful. That pattern has not changed, as the Kings have a staggering eight OHL prospects out of their pool of ten Junior prospects. Mark Yannetti, the Kings’ director of amateur scouting, and Clay Leibel, the club’s Ontario scout, seem to have a formula for success with OHL selections right now.
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.
The Los Angeles Kings had a number of prospects step up and have statement years in 2013-14, but the Fall 2014 Top 20 list features a number of prospects who are going to be pushed by new challenges. Not only is there a new No. 1 prospect on the list, but nine players of the 20 are going to be potentially looking at their first full year in their respective leagues. The Kings also acquired a few new faces via draft and trade that are a welcomed addition to the list as well as the pipeline. With new surroundings, a big step up for many, and at least a few heading towards graduation, the list could look very different come next summer.