Photo: Kings prospect Chaz Reddekopp brings size and strength to his defensive role but his offense is trending up too (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
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.
Photo: San Antonio Rampage forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Andrew Agozzino (#28) is off to a good start offensively in 2015-16 with 16 points in nine AHL games (courtesy of Christina Shapiro/Texas Stars)
The Pacific Division was always going to be the American Hockey League’s most polarizing division.
With five teams playing 68 games and the other two playing 76, points percentage was handmade for this grouping. And with the California teams avoiding all of the dreaded three-in-threes? The Pacific Division is ripe with storylines created by the AHL’s western migration. Read more»
Photo: Boston College goaltender and Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko, and Michigan State forward and St. Louis Blues prospect Mackenzie MacEachern go head-to-head in NCAA action this weekend (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images and Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Can anyone beat Vancouver Canucks prospect Thatcher Demko? Mackenzie MacEachern and the Michigan State Spartans are going to try to break Demko’s second long shutout streak of the season. The CHL Canada Russia Series continues this week, as Ottawa 67’s captain Travis Konecny is hoping to stay hot. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Cody Donaghey will try to slow down Conor Garland’s assault on the scoresheet, while Brendan Guhle will attempt to do the same against Jayce Hawryluk. In the SHL, two of the league’s youngest players go head-to-head in a matchup of a late-round pick versus a 2016 draft-eligible. Read more»
Photo: LA Kings prospect and former Wisconsin Badger Michael Mersch has become a dependable AHL scorer in his pro career (courtesy of Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images)
It really can be hard to nail down whether or not the Kings system took a step back or forward over the course of a year. The team has traded away tons of picks and prospects in order to go into a win-now mode. That has significantly lessened the top end prospect quality that the franchise has currently. Moving potentially high level players like Colin Miller (BOS) – and to a lesser degree Roland McKeown (CAR) – has been costly for the system. However, the Kings have continued to thrive and make up a lot of the void in smart player development.
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Kasperi Kapanen (L) five points in seven AHL playoff games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins back in April, then was traded by the parent Pittsburgh Penguins to Toronto in the offseason (courtesy of Tony Ding/Icon Sportswire)
Kasperi Kapanen and Alexander Nylander are up to their old tricks this week, making appearances in this week’s Prospect Impressions. Joining them are a trio of plays from the NHL, including Connor McDavid yet again. Goaltenders get in on the action too, including one “glove save” with a blocker that has the college hockey world talking. Read more»