Photo: Defenseman Derek Forbort, the Kings 15th overall pick in 2010, is skating in his rookie pro season with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
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.
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: Kings' second overall selection Drew Doughty has developed into a cornerstone of the franchise and played a key role in bringing the club their first Stanley Cup in 2012. (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)
In 2008, the Los Angeles Kings were in the midst of a taxing rebuild process. With the fourth overall pick in 2007 along with the second and 12th picks in 2008, the team was looking to add key pieces around which the team could be built moving forward.
Photo: The fourth overall pick in 2007, defenseman Thomas Hickey is still trying to find his game in the AHL as part of the Manchester Monarchs' blue line corps. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Los Angeles Kings minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, is absolutely packed and brimming with talent of all shapes and sizes. Through recent drafting and promotion of junior level prospects, the Monarchs have filled their lines and pairings with a wealth of two-way talent, defensive talent, goal-scorers, and grinders.
Photo: Two-way blueliner Jake Muzzin is one of the Los Angeles Kings' top defensive prospects playing with the AHL's Manchester Monarchs in 2012-13. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
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.