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LA Kings D Prospect Alex Roach Is Quickly Earning Trust, Gaining Confidence With Ontario Reign

AUDIO: Story includes audio interviews with Ontario Reign head coach Jason Christie and Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach.


LA Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach, shown here
during the Kings’ 2014 training camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — The name, Alex Roach might not be familiar, but if he plays his cards right, and if the Los Angeles Kings guessed right back in 2011, he might be wearing a Kings jersey in a few years.

Roach, a left-shot defenseman prospect, played four seasons for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, but was not drafted by a National Hockey League team. He was, however, invited to the Kings’ 2011 training camp, and turned enough heads to earn a three-year, entry-level contract, signed on September 26, 2011.

Roach played three more seasons with the Hitmen after that, and had a five-game stint with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign (Kings ECHL affiliate) at the end of the 2013-14 season.

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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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LA Kings Rookie Goalie Martin Jones Passes First NHL Test With Flying Colors

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

ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — After earning his first National Hockey League win in his NHL debut, a 3-2 shootout victory over the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center in Anaheim on December 3, rookie goaltender Martin Jones remained the center of attention in the Los Angeles Kings’ dressing room after practice on December 5.

Jones spoke with the local media in greater detail about his first NHL game.

“It feels good, for sure,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure that I made the saves that I needed to, and give the guys a chance to win, because we’ve got a great team in here. They played real hard tonight. All I had to do was give them a chance.”

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LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

LA Kings right wing prospect Brandon Kozun, who is playing this season for the Manchester Monarchs
of the American Hockey League.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Over the past year or two, when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects, players such as Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin (both are now with the Kings), Linden Vey, Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones have gotten the vast majority of the media attention, and for good reason, as they have been the go-to players for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.

Before that, another young player, an offensively gifted prospect who has the added story line of being a local product who played his youth hockey in the Los Angeles area, suddenly found himself out of the spotlight almost completely.

To be sure, Brandon Kozun, now 23 years old, was quickly becoming the forgotten prospect, in terms of the media attention a National Hockey League prospect might normally receive.

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