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A Glimpse At The Critical Role Development Has Played In LA Kings’ Championships

Former NHL defenseman and general manager Mike O’Connell (standing) instructs LA Kings prospects during the team’s 2014 Development Camp on July 8, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

2014 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 Development Camp with a story on what the team is trying to accomplish during their annual camp for their young prospects and the impact their development staff has had on the team’s success. ALSO: listen to an audio interview with former Kings left wing Mike Donnelly, now on the team’s development and scouting staffs.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The hockey world is now in what should probably be known as The Dreaded Lull, that period between the height of unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, and the start of National Hockey League training camps in mid-September, a period when it seems like everything related to the game has been sucked into a black hole.

The result: hockey fans are bored out of their minds, clamoring for any little tidbit of something hockey-related to help them survive the two-and-a-half months before training camps open.

Something that helps fans cope is that NHL teams now have development camps for their young prospects in July and August, giving fans and hockey media alike something to chew on during The Dreaded Lull, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

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Frozen Royalty Begins 2014 Off-Season Coverage With Photos From LA Kings 2014 Development Camp

The Los Angeles Kings 2014 Development Camp for their young prospects began on July 8, 2014, and will run four days.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — It’s here.

Yes, hockey fans, the time of year that we all dread is upon us, that approximately two-and-a-half month period that starts on July 2 (or maybe July 3 or 4, if enough unrestricted free agents wait a day or two before signing contracts) until the start of training camps in mid-September.

During this period, there is usually a tremendous dearth of anything interested to read, see or hear related to the National Hockey League, although fans of the Los Angeles Kings will get to enjoy following the Stanley Cup on its travels, as the team and the organization celebrate the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship all summer long.

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2014 First Round Draft Pick Adrian Kempe Fits LA Kings Like A Glove

LA Kings 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe (center), shown here with Kings Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Mike Futa (left)
and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti (right) during the 2014 NHL Draft in
Philadelphia on June 27, 2014.

LOS ANGELES — If there was ever a first round pick in the National Hockey League draft that fit a team like the proverbial glove, forward Adrian Kempe is that player.

Kempe, 17, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, which began on June 27.

The 2014 NHL Draft will conclude on June 28, with Rounds 2-7, beginning at 7:00 AM PDT (televised on the NHL Network).

But before the 29th pick came around, the Kings tried to trade up in the first round. Later, as prospects continued to come off the board, they also tried to trade down.

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Los Angeles Kings 2014 NHL Draft Preview

LOS ANGELES — Whether it is defenseman Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts (Ontario Hockey League), center Samuel Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), center Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice (Western Hockey League), or center Leon Draisaitl of the Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) who winds up as the first overall selection in the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, unless some way-out-of-left-field trade happens, the Los Angeles Kings will not be adding that player to the fold, or any of the top prospects, for that matter.

Indeed, that is the price of success. After winning the Stanley Cup on June 13, the Kings move all the way down to 29th in the first round of the thirty-team draft. The only reason they did not move to 30th is because of the sanctions handed down to the New Jersey Devils for salary cap circumvention when they signed forward Ilya Kovalchuk—the Devils will pick last in the first round instead of 11th.

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