Photo: LA Kings top prospect Adrian Kempe plays an advanced pro game despite being still just 19 years old (courtesy of Lee Calkins)
The Los Angeles Kings system remains robust in role players, grinders, and two-way defensemen. This has always seemed to be the case. However, the organization is starting to see a nice evolution from a few players within the system. When you have so few high end picks, you have to hope for the growth of the Mersch’s, the Dowd’s, and the Auger’s of the pipeline to come through for you in filling in the gaps. While some of these players are in the very nascent stages of their careers and development paths, they are starting to rise just like the development team had hoped.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings forward Michael Mersch saw his first NHL action in a December game against the Pittsburgh Penguins (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)
A team with a handful of prospects possessing some good, long-term upside tops the 21-30 group of the latest Hockey’s Future NHL Team Rankings, which ranks the NHL clubs on the basis of the quality of their prospect depth. Read more»
Photo: London Knights forward and 2016 prospect Max Jones has scored at a point-per-game pace in his first OHL season, posting 17 goals and 33 points in 32 games (courtesy of Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Two spin-o-rama’s by Hayden McCool and Max Jones kick off a great week on Prospect Impressions. The Kingston Frontenacs are in the news after a big trade, and their new acquisition immediately makes an impact. Plenty of highlights await, including a couple of unreal saves and an unfortunate but hilarious mishap. Read more»
Photo: San Diego Gulls defenseman and Anaheim Ducks prospect Brandon Montour split his 2014-15 season between the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks, the University of Massachusetts, and the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals (courtesy of the San Diego Gulls Hockey Club)
The Grand Rapids Griffins are named after a mythical creature – one that is part lion, part eagle — but the Detroit Red Wings prospects season has followed the path of another mythical beast.
Let’s just call them the Grand Rapids Phoenix with how they have burned up and then rebuilt under first-year head coach Todd Nelson. Read more»
Photo: Los Angeles Kings prospect Nick Ebert has offensive skills that could translate to the NHL level but needs to use his time in the AHL developing a better sense of when to make safe defensive plays (courtesy of David Sheehan)
After a big move from the east coast to the west coast, and a name change, not much else has changed. The newly-branded Ontario Reign are coming into this season as defending champions of the AHL, and they are playing like it early on. Part of the reason is that the Los Angeles Kings have a pretty loaded group of AHL prospects. While other systems may have a high amount of CHL or college prospects, most of the Kings’ picks from years past are now at the AHL level. Surprisingly though, only one of the players is a first round selection (Adrian Kempe).