2015 LA Kings Draft Preview

LOS ANGELES — In the 2012 National Hockey League Draft, the Kings had the final selection (30th overall). In 2014, they had the 29th overall pick, one ahead of the New Jersey Devils, who were moved behind all the other NHL teams in the first round as punishment for signing forward Ilya Kovalchuk to a contract that circumvented the league’s salary cap rules.

Getting stuck with the last pick in the first round of the draft (or 29th in 2014) was the “price” the Kings paid for winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.

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Frozen Royalty Video: Williams, Kopitar, Stoll, Regehr, Pearson, Sutter Interviews, 4/1/15

LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After a spirited practice, their first at home after coming off a five-game road trip, the Los Angeles Kings shifted their focus solely to their next opponent, the Edmonton Oilers, who they host on April 2 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

After practice, a usually large number of players took time to speak with the media, along with head coach Darryl Sutter.

Some of the topics covered in the video interviews with Justin Williams, Anze Kopitar, Jarret Stoll, Robyn Regehr, Tanner Pearson and Sutter (see below) include:

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Reasons Behind LA Kings’ Recent Success Might Not Be What You Think

LA Kings center Jarret Stoll, shown here during a recent practice.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Perhaps the most obvious reason that the Los Angeles Kings have won five straight games is because they have scored timely goals and have gotten the balanced scoring they have lacked all season long.

But that’s just the easy answer. The real starting point, when looking for the root cause of the Kings’ recent success lies 200 feet away, in their own zone.

Indeed, much-improved defensive play and penalty-killing have been the fundamental differences and the most important, most significant reasons behind the Kings’ current five-game winning streak.

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9-Year-Old Cancer Patient, Hockey Player Grace Bowen Gets Royal Treatment From The LA Kings

Nine-year old Grace Bowen, a former hockey player
who was stricken by cancer, is shown here dropping
the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off prior to
the Calgary Flames vs. LA Kings game on
February 12, 2015, at Staples Center.
Photo: Aaron Poole/NHLI/Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night when the Los Angeles Kings earned a much-needed 5-3 win over the Calgary Flames at Staples Center in Los Angeles, they honored former head coach Barry Melrose during one of their Legends Nights. But they also honored one very special guest.

On February 12, nine-year-old Grace Bowen, who played right wing for the West Northumberland Wild of the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, was honored by the Kings prior to the game.

Accompanied by her father, Greg, and her mother, Andrea, young Grace, a native of Grafton, Ontario, dropped the puck for the ceremonial opening face-off.

As reported by Pete Fisher in Northumberland Today, Prior to her birthday in April 2014, Grace was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

Doctors found a tumor in her right femur along with a pathological fracture. Grace underwent 7 1/2 months of chemotherapy, along with “…rotation plasty surgery to remove the tumor and utilize her ankle to create a new knee. That joint will be used when Grace gets a prosthetic.”

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It’s Time For LA Kings To Back Up Words With Action, Results

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — One look at the National Hockey League standings will instantly tell you that the Los Angeles Kings are currently in the Western Conference playoff picture. But they will also show that they are just about as close to being out of playoff contention as they are to being in the thick of it.

On January 8, the Kings will play their 41st game of the season (against the New York Rangers, 7:30 PM, Staples Center), the halfway mark, and given their precarious playoff position, the time is now for them to back up their words with action and results, something they’re well aware of.

“We really need to turn it around quickly here,” said defenseman Drew Doughty. “We’re not happy with how we’re playing. It’s halfway through the season, and we’re just barely in a playoff spot. We want to have a lot more ground in front of other teams.”

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