Photo: Machester Monarchs defenseman and Los Angeles Kings prospect Kevin Gravel spent his first pro season in the AHL, posting six goals and 15 points in 58 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
In 2010, the Los Angeles Kings started trending in the right direction. It is not surprising that we started to see far fewer draft selections, as the team started giving up picks to acquire useful roster players for a deeper NHL lineup. 2010 marked an extreme departure for the franchise, as they had just five overall selections in the 2010 NHL Draft. That is half of what they had in 2009, and four fewer than in 2008. Be that as it may, the Kings were measured in their selection, and still covet all of these selections within their organization in one form or another. Some have made huge impacts at the NHL already and a few others are on the cusp of being impact players. Let’s take a look.
Photo: LA Kings prospect Jordan Weal leads the Manchester Monarchs in playoff scoring (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
The Los Angeles Kings have an older group of prospects, most of whom have progressed into the AHL. For that reason, the Monarchs have been a force this season. The squad clinched the Atlantic division and the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They now move into the Eastern Conference Finals of the Calder Cup playoffs in an effort to erase last year’s disappointing first round bow-out.
Photo: Oshawa Generals forward and Calgary Flames prospect Hunter Smith turned in his best offensive season of his OHL career, posting 23 goals and 49 points in 57 games in 2014-15 (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
The month of May is reserved for hockey championships, and this week’s Prospect Impressions takes a look at a trio of players who helped seal their team’s success. The NAHL, OHL, and USHL all concluded play, with a nice mix of top prospects and role players being the catalyst for those championships. In the AHL, one player potentially ready to make the jump to the NHL has been an unexpected beacon of hope for Hartford. Finally, what happens when nearly 500 pounds of mass collide in a hockey game? Prospects from the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames answer that question for you in a collision that has to be seen to be believed. Read more»
Photo: Team Canada went undefeated at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, winning all 10 of their games while placing four of the top five scorers at that tournament (courtesy of Dmitry Lebedev/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images)
Tyler Toffoli is coming off his best NHL season to date, having scored 49 points for the Los Angeles Kings and putting up a +25 rating. Now he’s contributed two goals and five points in 10 games to a Canadian team that has dominated this World Championship like few teams have. Read more»
Photo: Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward and Nashville Predators prospect Vladislav Kamenev (L) posted a goal and three assists for Russia’s silver medal-winning squad at the 2015 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
As might be noticed in international competition, the center position is often an area that Russia has some trouble filling with younger prospects, as that country instead fills with veterans like Pavel Datsyuk or Evgeny Malkin because of the apparent lack of production from younger, less established players. But recently, there have been some signs of trend inversion as there have been some centers drafted by NHL teams out of the KHL. Read more»