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“Simpler” And “Smarter” Will Be Keywords For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Colin Miller in 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2012 fifth round pick, defenseman Colin Miller. An audio interview with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake is also included.


Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Colin Miller, shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — In today’s National Hockey League, and especially for teams that stress defense, like the Los Angeles Kings, young players coming out of major junior hockey in Canada, or the collegiate ranks, are often rather deficient on the defensive side of the puck. After all, at lower levels, players get away with a lot more, in terms of taking shortcuts or playing a risky style.

But once these young players advance to the professional ranks, they often receive a rude awakening.

Although that may not apply to Colin Miller, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, the 6-1, 201-pound offensive defenseman still has a lot to learn about playing on the defensive side of the puck.

“He came out of junior where [players] get away with a lot of stuff [on the ice],” said Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake, who also serves as general manager for the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. “He can push the pace, he can jump [into the play]—he could do a lot of things that he might not get away with at the pro level.”

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Perseverence Finally Pays Off For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Andrew Campbell

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings right wing Jordan Nolan, goaltender Martin Jones, head coach Darryl Sutter, and defenseman Andrew Campbell.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — At the risk of raining on rookie defenseman Andrew Campbell’s parade, even he knows that he isn’t likely to be with the Los Angeles Kings for very long, especially if defenseman Drew Doughty’s suspected shoulder injury heals soon.

That said, the 6-4, 206-pound native of Caledonia, Ontario made his National Hockey League debut on April 5, in Vancouver, where the Kings lost, 2-1.

That’s an accomplishment that no one can take away or diminish. Nevertheless, some might think, “big deal! We always hear stories about a young player making his NHL debut, and they’re all pretty much the same.”

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LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Colin Miller Is Dealing With “Tough Love”

Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect
Colin Miller, shown here with the Manchester
Monarchs of the American Hockey League.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — While forwards Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey are with the Los Angeles Kings, filling in for injured veterans, including Jeff Carter and Kyle Clifford, other Kings prospects remain with their respective teams, working to make it to the National Hockey League someday.

Although Pearson, Toffoli and Vey have not likely made it to the NHL to stay, they have made it there faster than the vast majority of young players who often toil in the minors for several years before getting their chance, if they get the chance at all.

One player who seems to be on a more normal timetable is defenseman Colin Miller, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

The 21-year-old, 6-1, 195-pound native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario performed well during the Kings’ rookie camp and rookie tournament, not to mention their training camp. But with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League this season, he has struggled.

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LA Kings: Lewis Stepping Up, Muzzin Seeks Consistency, Sutter Issues Another Challenge – VIDEO

LA Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (foreground), shown
here during practice on February 22, 2013, at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Kasey Spatz/SpatzShots

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the first and second periods in Chicago on February 17, the Los Angeles Kings have started to put things together after a rough start to the abbreviated 2013 season.

Prior to February 10, the Kings were struggling badly, earning just a 3-4-2 record after nine games. But after that, they are 4-2-0, with a loss at Detroit, a game in which they arguably played their best hockey this season, and the aforementioned loss at Chicago, in which the Kings were missing in action until the third period, but almost came all the way back from a 3-0 deficit.

Head coach Darryl Sutter pointed out that his team’s progress has been a bit slow.

“I knew, coming [into the season], that opening [day, a 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Staples Center on January 19] wasn’t going to be about the game,” said Sutter. “It was going to be about the ceremony, and that held true. Then, we went to Colorado, and played pretty well, but made a couple of mistakes in the third period. That set the [tone] for where we are.”

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