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LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Nicolas Deslauriers Is Still Playing Catch Up In Defensive Zone

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Story also includes video of media interviews with Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter following the Los Angeles Kings’ practice on April 20, 2013.


Nicolas Deslauriers
Photo: Scott Slingsby/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Since he was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round (84th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers has been a prospect that pundits and fans alike have kept their eyes on.

The reason: Deslauriers, 22, is a 6-1, 214-pound blue liner who can play a physical game, and has good offensive skills. In other words, he has a lot of the tools, especially the size and the physical game, to be the prototypical type of player any NHL team would want guarding their zone.

Deslauriers played his junior hockey for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League {QMJHL), a league known for lots of offense and very little defense.

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Frozen Royalty Video: LA Kings Edged In Shootout At Anaheim, 4-3

ANAHEIM, CA — Corey Perry scored a breakaway goal and another in the shootout to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings in front of a standing-room only crowd of 18,494 fans at Honda Center in Anaheim on April 7.

Ducks forwards Kyle Palmieri opened the scoring at 2:54 of the first period after Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr was unable to clear the zone along the left wing boards. Ducks forward Matt Beleskey got the puck to Palmieri, who skated past Kings left wing Jordan Nolan, who got caught flat-footed. Palmieri went in alone on Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who made the initial save. But the puck hit Palmieri’s skate, and bounced into the net.

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Talks Regehr Trade, And, As Always, Much, Much More

LA Kings’ newly acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Not long after newly acquired defenseman Robyn Regehr left the ice following the Los Angeles Kings’ optional skate on April 3, President/General Manager Dean Lombardi came down from his second floor office to hold court with the local media.

As it usually does, Lombardi’s remarks about the trade ended up being a verbal treatise on building a National Hockey League team in the salary cap era.

Mind you, that is not a complaint. Far from it. In fact, Lombardi’s comments are almost always pure gold, given the information and detail he provides.

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“Move Along, Nothing To See Here” Really Means What It Says In The Case Of LA Kings’ Drew Doughty

LA Kings defenseman Drew Doughty finally scored his first goal of the 2013 season on March 19. But the majority of the attention given to his
goal scoring drought was misplaced.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — When Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty scored his first goal of the season on March 19, in the Kings’ 29th game of this abbreviated 2013 National Hockey League season, many fans breathed a big sigh of relief, while some pundits started analyzing Doughty’s long scoring drought, trying to figure out why he was playing so poorly all season long.

This brings to mind the line from the Naked Gun movies:

“Move along, nothing to see here.”

The only difference is that unlike in those movies, this time, it’s probably sage advice. Indeed, many have apparently forgotten that Doughty is a defenseman, a player whose primary responsibility is keeping the puck out of his own net. Despite that, the focus for much of the last six weeks has been his goose egg in the goals column of the stats sheet, something he was frustrated about, despite earlier comments to the contrary.

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