Some notes, news and observations about the Kings system:
The Los Angeles Kings have to be pleased with the return to form of Jarslov Bednar. In his first game back in the NHL on Monday he showed alot of spunk. He played the body all night, made some crisp passes and had several scoring opportunities on a line with Jason Allison and Adam Deadmarsh. He is a nice fit with those two and could be a key cog if the Kings are unable to land a top six winger.
It seems like a good year to have a rebound as a defenseman in the Kings system. In the collegiate ranks, Jason Crain has had a great season after struggling last year. Crain has developed into a leader and shown some offense this year. Crain has 10 points and is a +7 in 35 games- solid numbers in the college game. Richard Seeley and Joe Rullier have developed their defensive games in Manchester and while neither may be the offensive prospects once hope for, you can’t get enough big, physical defensemen. The best comeback is by Joe Corvo. Once out of hockey and the King’s plans, Corvo is Manchester’s best defensemen and may be in the NHL next season.
College prospect Noah Clarke has had another great offensive season for Colorado College. Clarke has 29 points in 33 games. Clarke and Sweden’s Tim Eriksson are both in the same boat- having great seasons but limited due to their small stature.
Very quietly, Jen Karlsson is finding his game. Look for this kid to keep developing and turning into a solid pick, even though the Kings have taken some heat for picking him in the first round.
Fin Read more»
It’s a rite of spring for all Kings fans. Is this the trading deadline when Jamie Storr will be dealt to another team for a big name player? The question is more pressing than ever this season. The Kings are playing as well as anyone in the league right now and may be a player away from making a run at the Stanley Cup Finals. The only real tradable commodity for the Kings right now is Jamie Storr, but what does that do for the future?
Felix Potvin is fully entrenched as the #1 goalie and is playing well. Stefan Fiset is in Manchester and with his hefty salary, the Kings would trade him for yesterday’s newspaper. Storr has done an admirable job as a backup, and the Kings have done an even more admirable job positioning him to do so, handpicking his games to make him more effective.
While Storr has not played the toughest schedule, his confidence is high and prior to Wednesday’s game in Pittsburgh he was playing the best hockey of his NHL career. The Kings have seen signs of the netminder that they have worked so hard to hold on to, even at the expense of other players on their roster.
If they do deal Storr, what will happen in two years. Granted, Potvin is excelling but how many more years can the Kings count on him. Can Jamie wait another year after this to take the #1 spot? Do the Kings have a goalie they can depend on if they do trade Storr?
If Storr were traded today, Fiset would be the backup. he would be a capable backup, but if pressed into every day service he cannot be relied on due to his injury-prone nature. If Potvin plays thro Read more»
Yanick Lehoux is a high scoring Kings prospect, currently playing for Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL. Lehoux is averaging nearly two points a game. In 55 games he has 48 goals, 61 assists (109 points) and has an amazing 13 short handed goals. These numbers have gotten Lehoux a snub from the Canadian World Junior Championship team, and is generally regarded as the Kings’ 4th to 5th best prospect. How could this happen during a career year?
Lehoux is listed at 6’0, 190 lbs.. Most who have seen him in person would regard this as a reach. Add this rumored lack of size to his absence from the WJC squad and one name comes to King’s fans minds:
While Lehoux numbers are breathtaking, they are not new to the Kings’ system. Rosa had 63 goals in 68 games in the Q, and scored 153 points. Numbers that had the Kings foaming at the mouth. Those stats have brought the Kings whopping four NHL goals so far, and Rosa is playing in Europe. Another prospect that boasted lofty numbers was Justin Papineau. The Kings elected not to sign him and he recently played in the AHL All-Star Game as a member of the St. Louis Blues organization. Papineau was in the nearly identical situation that Lehoux is currently in, and his development may turn out to be egg on the Kings’ faces.
Another problem for Lehoux has been the emergence of the Kings’ system. Years ago, the Kings would have been touting Lehoux as the next coming, just as they did with Rosa and Papineau. Now, fresh off the WJC’s, the Kings have top prospects like Alexander Frolov and Jared Aulin Read more»
The Kings called up Ryan Flinn and gave him his shot. The result has been a shot in the arm for the Kings.
21-year-old Ryan Flinn came to the Kings a week ago. After being scratched against the Ducks, he got his shot last Thursday in a game against Minnesota. His first scrap was with Brad Brown- a tough customer but no heavyweight. The results- a TKO and Brown has not returned to the ice yet. Flinn showed a vicious right as he disposed of Brown. The fight energized the team and the person who should benefit from Flinn’s arrival the most, Ziggy Palffy, scored a short handed goal just minutes later.
After an uneventful game in L.A. against Colorado, Flinn and the Kings took the ice in Denver Monday night and the fans got what they wanted- Scott Parker and Ryan Flinn squared off. Flinn stung Parker with a solid right that did major damage to Parker’s face. Parker kept his face away from Flinn for a few seconds and then threw a couple crushing rights, one that sent Flinn to a knee. A great fight with Parker getting a slight edge, despite the fact he did not skate again the rest of the evening.
Two fights and two impressive showings. Ryan Flinn has inflicted some damage on two NHL tough guys, and stood toe to toe with one of the toughest- Scott Parker. After watching the Kings get pushed around in the first half of the season, it is apparent that Ryan Flinn is the man right now.
If the choice comes down to the three enforcers who have skated for the Kings this season (Flinn, Brennan and Ken Belanger), Flinn has emerged as the clear leader. F Read more»
The Los Angeles Kings have two enforcers currently patrolling the ice at AHL Manchester. King draft pick Kip Brennan, who just returned from his first stint in the NHL, and the recently signed free agent Ryan Flinn. Both are big, both are young and 21, and both can handle themselves and protect their teammates. It would appear than neither will win any scoring titles, so it would be difficult for both play for the Kings at the same time (although fans would love it). So the question is, who will be the future enforcer?
Kip Brennan (6’4, listed at 222 but closer to 200) was chosen in the fourth round of the 1998 draft by the Kings and has emerged as the top fighter in the system. Brennan went to Lowell last season but was clearly not ready for the AHL and was returned to Sudbury for the balance of the season. This seaso, that appears to have helped because Brennan has taken on all comers in the AHL and more than held his own. Brennan has an enforcer’s demeanor and is learning to pick his spots effectively. Brennan’s recent stint is the NHL was effective if not impressive. He fought two of the most difficult players to fight in the NHL- the awkward Steve McKenna, who he struggled to stand up with, and Andre Nazarov who grabbed the rear numbers of his jersey and held on until the officials came in. He also tried and failed to get Steve Webb to go on the island and drew his first NHL penalty. He used this as a lesson (that was in his NHL debut) and he seemed to learn from that. As he became more comfortable, he was more effective in the low cycle with his lin Read more»