Kings: Top 20 prospects

By David A. Rainer

The 2003 NHL Entry Draft witnessed the Los Angeles Kings add several great
prospects to their already well-stocked system. Three top forwards were taken in
the first round, followed up by the possible steal of the draft in the second
round, and a coach’s son whom the Los Angeles fans have become very familiar
with in the last couple of years. Here are the updated the Kings Top 20

1. Denis Grebeshkov (D) – the puck moving defenseman recently signed a
three-year deal with the Kings. Grebeshkov split time between the first and
second defensive pairings for Lokomotiv of the Russian Super League. Led Team
Russia to the Gold in the 2003 World Junior Championships recording a +11 in 7
2. Dustin Brown (RW) – the 13th overall selection of the 2003 draft led
the Guelph Storm of the OHL in goals (34) and points (76). A gritty forward,
Brown drives to the net with strength and determination.
3. Jared Aulin (C) – this playmaker has been at the top of the charts
since he was acquired from Colorado. While already possessing tremendous
offensive skills, he is constantly improving his defensive game. Look for Aulin
to battle for a spot on the NHL roster this season.
4. Mike Cammalleri (C) – despite his diminutive size, no one has a
heart bigger than Cammy. This scoring machine out of the Univ. of Michigan
earned playing time with the Kings during the 2002-03 season after registering
20 points in 13 games with Manchester. He’ll be coming to an NHL rink near
5. Petr Kanko (RW) – a fan favorite wherever he has played, Kanko plays
with style. Known for his pink mohawk off the ice and his speed and scoring
touch on the ice, anchored Kitchener’s second line during their championship
run. Don’t let the smile fool you; he’ll just as soon go through you as around
6. Jeff Tambellini (LW) – the 27th overall selection of the 2003 draft
has recently concluded a stellar first season with the Univ. of Michigan. Earned
CCHA Rookie of the Year honors while leading Michigan in goals (26) and points
(45), the first freshman to do so since Mike Comrie in 1999.
7. Tim Gleason (D) – recently signed by the Kings, Gleason was captain
of the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL. Acquired in a deadline trade with the
Ottawa Senators, the young defenseman has been working to improve his defensive
game to emerge as one of the better two-way defensive prospects.
8. Aaron Rome (D) – a stay at home defenseman who can be an occasional
offensive threat. Toughness and sound positioning highlight Rome’s skills
while leading the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL with 41 powerplay points in
2002-03. A steal as a fourth round selection. Look for Rome in Manchester this
coming season.
9. Brian Boyle (C) – this giant possesses skills in every inch of his
6’7” frame. After dominating while at St. Sebastian’s High School with 32
goals in 31 games, Boyle has signed on to play with fellow Kings’ prospect
Ryan Murphy at Boston College. Still learning how to use his size as an asset.
Once that happens, look out!
10. Konstantin Pushkarev (RW) – the steal of the 2003 draft. Pushkarev
led Team Kazakhstan in both the U18 and U20 World Junior Championships, scoring
nine goals (tied with Ovechkin) in six games at the U18 WJC. Playing for Torpedo
of the Russian Upper League and looking to develop against better competition.
11. Richard Petiot (D) – solid and hard-hitting defenseman. A future
top-four for the Kings, currently in his junior year with Colorado College.
Another steal in the fourth round for Dave Taylor.
12. Sergei Anshakov (RW) – young winger playing in the Russian Super
League. Played on the third line of Gold Medal winning Team Russia during the
2003 World Junior Championship. Look for Anshakov to earn increased ice time
with CSKA Moscow this coming season.
13. Jens Karlsson (LW) – physical and aggressive power forward. Stuck
low on the depth charts for champions of the Swedish Elite league. Karlsson is
set to see significant playing time this coming season for Frolunda.
14. Brady Murray (C) – small and elusive, Murray has the speed and
skating ability to make the opposition look foolish. Will attend Univ. of North
Dakota in the fall.
15. Greg Hogeboom (RW) – high scoring winger with good all-around
skills. Led the NCAA with 17 powerplay goals. Going into his last year of
eligibility with senior-laden Univ. of Miami, OH.
16. Noah Clarke (LW) – great combination of skills, intelligence, and
work ethic. Finished a superb career at Colorado College by leading the NCAA in
assists (49). Clarke will likely be a star in Manchester this coming season. Not
bad for a ninth rounder.
17. Tomas Zizka (D) – a good two-way defenseman from the Czech
Republic. Exploded for 43 points in 61 games for Manchester, earning him a late
season call-up to the Kings. Zizka will be battling for a spot with the team.
18. Henrik Juntunen (LW) – skilled and physical forward skating for
Karpat in the Finnish Elite league. Played for Team Finland during the 2003 U20
World Junior Championship registering three points in seven games.
19. Yanick Lehoux (C) – pure offensive stud. Racked up 37 points in 78
games for Manchester. Still at a young age, Lehoux has several years to gain
experience and develop his defensive game in preparation for the rigors of the
20. Connor James (C) – speed, speed, and more speed. James is one of
the fastest and most talented skaters in the NCAA, creating match-up problems
for the opposition. James will finish his college career at Denver U. and likely
move on to Manchester. Another ninth round gem for Taylor.

Just Missed the Cut:
Ryan Munce (G)
Matheiu Chouinard (G)
Dave Steckel (C)