Photo: Winger Kyle Clifford, selected 35th overall in 2009, has been a fixture in the Kings lineup since breaking into the NHL in 2010-11 (courtesy of Adam Davis/Icon SMI)
After the 2006, 2007, and 2008 drafts yielded core members of the Kings future Stanley Cup run, the 2009 draft also yielded several key players.
Photo: Albany Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid, shown here playing for New Jersey in an NHL preseason game, has been among the top goaltenders in the AHL so far in the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
As the AHL season has entered full swing, so have the NHL recalls. Many AHL players have already seen considerable time in the NHL, or have spent a large number of days traveling between where their parent club is playing, and where their AHL team is located.
Photo: Defenseman Derek Forbort, the Kings 15th overall pick in 2010, is skating in his rookie pro season with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
With the Manchester Monarchs losing four incredibly key players to NHL call-ups, you would expect that the team would struggle this year with a lack of scoring or depth. However, with several new players and old role players stepping up, the Monarchs have remained an incredibly competitive hockey team and sit atop the AHL's Eastern Conference.
Photos: After putting up 120 points in his draft year, Nicolas Petan is on pace to surpass that mark in 2013-14 while averaging over two points per game for the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)
Welcome to the December 2013 edition of On the Rush, a monthly column featuring prospects at various levels of competition who are either exceeding expectations or are falling a little behind.
Photo: Syracuse Crunch forward and Tampa Bay lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov is currently tied for second in goals with 13 so far in the 2013-14 AHL season (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Icon SMI)
The AHL is nearly at the quarter-pole for the 2013-14 season, with most teams approaching the 20-game mark in their season. Teams are beginning to find their strengths and weaknesses, and some players – like Tyler Toffoli – have already been called up to their NHL affiliate.