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LA Kings Goalie Prospect J.F. Berube Looks To Take An Even Bigger Step Forward In 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2009 fourth round selection, goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Audio interviews with Berube and Kim Dillabaugh, who handles goaltender development for the Kings, are also included.


LOS ANGELES — Back on June 13, 2014, at Staples Center in Los Angeles, more than one hour after the Los Angeles Kings had won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship by defeating the New York Rangers in Game 5, 3-2 in double overtime, most of the Kings players had retreated into their dressing room as their own, private celebration had begun.

But a few players remained on the ice, soaking in the atmosphere. This handful of players also hoisted hockey’s version of the Holy Grail, but only briefly, and they did not skate with the Stanley Cup at all.

Those players were some of the Black Aces—young prospects who had been recalled during the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, to observe rather than play.

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

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 — 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

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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