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Transition To North American Game Hasn’t Been Easy For LA Kings Prospect Maxim Kitsyn

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here during the team’s
2013-14 training camp in October 2013.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ONTARIO, CA — While the National Hockey League is off the ice during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, other North American leagues are still on the ice, including the ECHL, where Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn is working to hone his skills.

Almost four years ago, Kitsyn, a native of Novokuznetsk, Russia who was 18 years of age at the time, came to Los Angeles for the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at Staples Center. He was selected by the Kings in the sixth round (158th overall).

Back then, Kitsyn was already playing in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, and aside from a 32-game stint in the 2010-11 season with the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League, he remained in the KHL. As a result, for many NHL followers, he was out of sight, out of mind. He became a mostly forgotten Kings prospect.

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LA Kings LW Tanner Pearson: “I’m Going To Do Everything I Can To Stick This Time”

Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — This time around, rookie left wing Tanner Pearson is determined to make an impact, and stay with the Los Angeles Kings for the long haul.

Last time, the 6-1, 200-pound native of Kitchener, Ontario was recalled from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League on November 13. In six games with the Kings, he scored one goal, his first in the National Hockey League, before being sent back to Manchester on December 3.

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Strange As It May Seem, Tyler Toffoli’s Play Without The Puck Might Be Key To Staying With LA Kings

Right wing Tyler Toffoli, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

 

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Los Angeles Kings rookie right wing Tyler Toffoli has certainly made his presence known by scoring timely goals, including four game-winners, and even though his game slipped a bit for a few games, he has bounced back, and has looked better than he did when he was recalled by the Kings on November 2.

In 21 games with the Kings, the 21-year-old, 6-1, 196-pound native of Scarborough, Ontario has scored eight goals and has tallied seven assists for 15 points, with a +11 plus/minus rating and two penalty minutes.

Toffoli is ranked tenth in rookie scoring, seventh in rookie goal scoring, and he leads all rookies in game-winning goals (four).

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LA Kings Rookie Goalie Martin Jones Has Come A Long Way From The North Shore Winter Club

LA Kings rookie goaltender Martin Jones
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As he left the ice after earning his first National Hockey League shutout in a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders on December 7 at Staples Center in what was just his second NHL game, goaltender Martin Jones entered the dressing room while his teammates chanted his name.

In two games, Jones has won both contests, the first coming at Anaheim, a 3-2, nine-round shootout win on December 3. In those games, Jones earned an 0.97 goals-against average and a .955 save percentage.

Those are magnificent numbers, to be sure. However, given the small sample size, they do not mean a whole lot. Even so, it represents a tremendous, near-fairy tale start to a young goaltender’s NHL career.

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