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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Is Taking Full Advantage of Opportunity With Manchester Monarchs

Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during a recent practice at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Generally speaking, professional hockey players don’t get to go on vacation until spring or summer, when their season ends, except during an Olympic year, when National Hockey League players who are not playing for their national teams get some time off during the Games. But the season continues for the rest of the professional leagues in North America during the Olympic break, and that is exactly what is happening during the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Pushed Hard To Take The Next Step

Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during the team’s 2013 Rookie Camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — After completing an up-and-down—literally—2012-13 season, Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube set his sights on taking the next step in his development—earning a spot on the roster of the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.

But after being unable to firmly establish himself as the number one goalie with the Kings’ ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, over the prior two seasons, and especially with him not getting as much ice time last season as he did the previous year after spending several weeks with the Monarchs in a backup role, there were questions in the minds of the Kings’ brain trust about what the better move would be for Berube: do they get him more ice time by sending him back to Ontario for a third season, or do they have him play in a backup role at the AHL level with the Monarchs?

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LA Kings Looking For Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube To Step Up to #2 Position With AHL’s Manchester Monarchs

LA Kings goalie prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during
pre-game warm-ups with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES AND ONTARIO, CA — For Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jean-Francois Berube, the 2012-13 season was a step forward, but at the same time, it was also a mixed bag.

Indeed, Berube’s regular season numbers with the Ontario Reign (Kings’ ECHL affiliate) improved, year-to-year, but he played in considerably fewer games.

To illustrate, Berube, 22, played in 37 regular season games with the Reign in 2011-12, earning a 17-13-3 (and one shootout loss), with a 2.87 goals-against average (GAA), a .907 save percentage, and four shutouts.

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LA Kings Prospect Jean-Francois Berube Is Struggling To Earn #1 Goalie Spot With ECHL’s Ontario Reign

LA Kings goalie prospect Jean-Francois Berube continues to struggle to
secure the number one goaltender spot with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan

ONTARIO, CA — Even though 22-year-old goaltending prospect Martin Jones was never selected by a National Hockey League team during their annual Entry Draft, Los Angeles Kings scouts saw something special while he played for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.

After signing with the Kings as an unrestricted free agent, Jones’ development has progressed faster than expected, and he has replaced Jeff Zatkoff as the number one goaltender for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League Read more of this post

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