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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 Work Young Prospects Hard At 2010 Development Camp

EL SEGUNDO, CA — While many who follow the Los Angeles Kings were glued to the World Wide Web and Twitter to follow the news about what unrestricted free agents were going where, most notably, superstar left wing Ilya Kovalchuk (who is still unsigned as of this writing), the Kings were busy conducting their annual Development Camp for their young prospects, which began on June 28 and ran through July 3.

Three days of the six-day camp were open to the public and the media, comprised of a scrimmage game sandwiched between two practice sessions, featuring prospects ranging from those who have been in the system for awhile to their most recent draft picks.

“I’ve been impressed with some of these players, and, certainly, everybody as far as the work ethic,” said head coach Terry Murray. “It’s been outstanding with the conditioning level and what they’ve been through over the past several days, on and off the ice.”

“A lot of focus, a lot of digging in, hungry and they want to learn,” added Murray. “Attitude. It’s really coming along well. As a group, it’s been tremendous.”

Murray also took note of his team’s five 2010 draft picks, who were all present at the camp.

“All the draft picks seem to be really good kids,” he said. “They’re good people with good character.” Read more of this post

LA Kings Take Some Risks In 2010 NHL Entry Draft

DRAFT COVERAGE — Frozen Royalty concludes its coverage of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft with a wrap-up of the Los Angeles Kings’ selections in rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 26, 2010, along with other notes from draft weekend. Includes audio interviews.


Logo courtesy LA Kings/NHL

LOS ANGELES — On the first day of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, June 25-26, 2010, the Los Angeles Kings stepped out of their well-established comfort zone by selecting prospects who had the potential to make it to the NHL level later rather than sooner.

The second day was no different than Friday’s first round (see A Sign Of Progress For LA Kings: 2010 First Round Pick Derek Forbort), as the Kings continued to roll the dice in rounds 2-7 on four prospects who will need significant development time.
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A Sign Of Progress For LA Kings: 2010 First Round Pick Derek Forbort

DRAFT COVERAGE: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held in Los Angeles for the first time, on June 25-26, 2010, continues with an in-depth look at their first round selection, defenseman Derek Forbort. Check back on Monday, June 28 for a look at the rest of the Kings’ draft picks during rounds 2-7.


LA Kings 2010 first round pick Derek Forbort speaks to the media at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 25, 2010.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

LOS ANGELES — At the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, it became clear early on that the Los Angeles Kings’ draft philosophy had taken a significant detour from what had been their standard operating procedure.

The last few drafts have seen Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi use his picks, especially the higher round selections, to go after prospects who might be able to contribute at the NHL level sooner rather than later.

But with the 2009-10 Kings making the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and with the franchise poised to take the next step towards becoming a Stanley Cup contender, the Kings now believe they can be more patient in terms of young prospects they bring into the fold, and that was evident right off the bat with first round selection Derek Forbort, a 6-5, 198-pound defenseman out of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program. Read more of this post

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