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A Glimpse At The Critical Role Development Has Played In LA Kings’ Championships

Former NHL defenseman and general manager Mike O’Connell (standing) instructs LA Kings prospects during the team’s 2014 Development Camp on July 8, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

2014 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 Development Camp with a story on what the team is trying to accomplish during their annual camp for their young prospects and the impact their development staff has had on the team’s success. ALSO: listen to an audio interview with former Kings left wing Mike Donnelly, now on the team’s development and scouting staffs.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The hockey world is now in what should probably be known as The Dreaded Lull, that period between the height of unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, and the start of National Hockey League training camps in mid-September, a period when it seems like everything related to the game has been sucked into a black hole.

The result: hockey fans are bored out of their minds, clamoring for any little tidbit of something hockey-related to help them survive the two-and-a-half months before training camps open.

Something that helps fans cope is that NHL teams now have development camps for their young prospects in July and August, giving fans and hockey media alike something to chew on during The Dreaded Lull, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

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Granting A Request and Getting Their Man Were Key Factors In LA Kings Trading Linden Vey To Vancouver

2014 LA KINGS DRAFT WRAP-UP: Confused about why the Los Angeles Kings traded away forward Linden Vey, one of their finest prospects? Here’s the answer…


LA Kings 2014 NHL Draft second round pick (50th overall)
defenseman Roland McKeown.

 

LOS ANGELES — A little over two weeks has passed since the Los Angeles Kings hoisted the Stanley Cup for the second time in the last three seasons and while the team, the entire organization, and their fans continue to celebrate, the hard part of winning a championship has already hit the Kings front office…

…keeping the team that just won hockey’s Holy Grail together.

Days earlier, the Kings confirmed that they will not be able to sign veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell to a new contract due to salary cap constraints and with the cap for the 2014-15 season coming in at $69 million, about $2 million less than what most expected, teams like the Kings, who were already very close to the cap ceiling, are facing even greater challenges in terms of keeping their rosters intact.

With just $3.66 million of available cap space, the Kings do not have much wiggle room at all, and that fact is now reverberating in the minds of players throughout their system whose contracts expire on June 30, not just that of President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and his front office staff.

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2014 First Round Draft Pick Adrian Kempe Fits LA Kings Like A Glove

LA Kings 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe (center), shown here with Kings Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Mike Futa (left) and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti (right)
during the 2014 NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 27, 2014.

 

LOS ANGELES — If there was ever a first round pick in the National Hockey League draft that fit a team like the proverbial glove, forward Adrian Kempe is that player.

Kempe, 17, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, which began on June 27.

The 2014 NHL Draft will conclude on June 28, with Rounds 2-7, beginning at 7:00 AM PDT (televised on the NHL Network).

But before the 29th pick came around, the Kings tried to trade up in the first round. Later, as prospects continued to come off the board, they also tried to trade down.

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Los Angeles Kings 2014 NHL Draft Preview

LOS ANGELES — Whether it is defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League), center Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League), or center Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) who winds up as the first overall selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, unless some way-out-of-left-field trade happens, the Los Angeles Kings will not be adding that player to the fold, or any of the top prospects, for that matter.

Indeed, that is the price of success. After winning the Stanley Cup on June 13, the Kings move all the way down to 29th in the first round of the thirty-team draft. The only reason they did not move to 30th is because of the sanctions handed down to the New Jersey Devils for salary cap circumvention when they signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk—the Devils will pick last in the first round instead of 11th.

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