Ontario Reign Coach Mike Stothers Can Barely Contain His Excitement About LA Kings Prospect Adrian Kempe

2015 ROOKIE CAMP: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2015 Rookie Camp continues with a story on how Ontario Reign head coach Mike Stothers sure seems to be gushing with excitement about Los Angeles Kings 2014 first round pick/forward prospect Adrian Kempe.


LA Kings left wing prospect Adrian Kempe (right), shown here during
the team’s 2015 Rookie Camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After playing for Modo in the Swedish Elite League last season, left wing prospect Adrian Kempe, who was the Los Angeles Kings’ first round selection (29th overall) in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, wasted little time in making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean to join the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League for their playoff run.

The 6-2, 187-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden, who turns 19 years old tomorrow, played in the Monarchs’ final three regular season games, but like so many young players moving up a level, not to mention making the transition from the European style of play to how the game is played in North America, Kempe struggled a bit in those games.

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LA Kings Looking For Big Push From Goalie Prospect Patrik Bartosak In 2015-16

2015 ROOKIE CAMP: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2015 Rookie Camp begins with a story on the development of goaltending prospect Patrik Bartosak.


LA Kings goaltender prospect Patrik Bartosak
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography]

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With his team leading the Utica Comets in the 2015 Calder Cup Final series, 2-0, Manchester Monarchs goaltender Patrik Bartosak, a Los Angeles Kings prospect, was sitting on the bench during Game 3 at Utica on June 10, 2015, watching intently, but pretty much minding his own business.

But just 7:51 into the game, starting goaltender J.F. Berube, also a Kings prospect, went down with what turned out be to a high ankle sprain, and suddenly, Bartosak, an American Hockey League rookie, found himself thrust into the spotlight, not to mention the pressure cooker—he had to backstop his team to a championship.

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LA Kings D Prospect Derek Forbort Now Taking Big Steps Forward

Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort, shown here
during the Kings’ 2013 Rookie Tournament.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — Having been selected in the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, there have been murmurs about whether or not Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort might turn out to be a draft bust.

The 23-year-old may never fulfill some people’s expectations simply because he was the Kings’ first round pick (15th overall) that year, when the draft was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles—all first round picks are supposed to become superstars, right?

But even if you’re not among those who are prone to having unrealistic expectations, it has been five years since Forbort was drafted, yet only now is the 6-4, 218-pound native of Duluth, Minnesota being considered as one of the Kings’ top prospects, one who is close to making it to the NHL.

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LA Kings Rob Blake on Prospect Brian O’Neill: “Not Big…But He Competes At The Level Of The Big Guys”

LA Kings forward prospect Brian O’Neill (#22 in white), shown here taking a wrist shot in the slot during Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Final against the Utica Comets on June 6, 2015, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — Last April, when Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Brian O’Neill was named as the 2014-15 recipient of the Les Cunningham Award as the American Hockey League’s Most Valuable Player, if you listened carefully enough, you may have heard people asking, “who?”

Indeed, it was not until this past season that O’Neill began to appear on the radar as a legitimate Kings prospect.

“A lot of that has to do with my age, being a late bloomer, going to college and not being drafted,” said O’Neill. “[He] was a free agent signing. But I’ve been with the Kings for awhile. A lot of the guys they draft they have [been in the minors] for three or four years before they turn pro, and they’re still on everyone’s radar. But everyone advances differently in their career. My path is a little bit unique [compared to] other kids on the team. But L.A. has done a good job of bringing kids along [slowly]. Regardless of your age, they take their time with guys, and they’ve gotten really good results.”

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LA Kings LW Prospect Michael Mersch Is Powering His Way Towards The NHL

LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch (left), shown here scoring in overtime of Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Final against the Utica Comets on June 6, 2015, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — Don’t look now, folks, but the Los Angeles Kings could have a star power forward in the making down on the farm, and it might not be who you think it is.

“He’s as good as anybody in the American [Hockey] League level, and I don’t know if there’s any better at the National Hockey League level in front of the net,” said assistant general manager Rob Blake. “He’ll stay in there, stay in the battle, and he’s got a touch [for] scoring. You saw that during the season, and it increased at the end of the season, and he was very dominant throughout the playoffs.”

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