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»
Welcome to the November edition of On the Rush. There is definitely a bit of variety in this month’s outing. We have a burgeoning mobile defenseman from the Philadelphia Flyers, a collegiate standout at Harvard, a pair of struggling first round selections from Dallas, two league-leading scorers, and even a Latvian winger out of the lesser known Norwegian league. From the Ivy League to Norway, it is quite an assortment. That happens to be right up our alley here at On the Rush. So let’s get down to the nitty gritty, and take a look at last month’s leaders and trailers from around the prospect world. Read more»
It will be hard for some of the Los Angeles Kings prospects to top their respective 2014-15 seasons. There was a Calder Cup Championship, a Memorial Cup Championship, a Slovak Extraliga title, and a number of other MVP-worthy and team-leading performances spread across the pipeline.
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.
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.