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“Simpler” And “Smarter” Will Be Keywords For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Colin Miller 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 2012 fifth round pick, defenseman Colin Miller. An audio interview with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake is also included.


Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Colin Miller, shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — In today’s National Hockey League, and especially for teams that stress defense, like the Los Angeles Kings, young players coming out of major junior hockey in Canada, or the collegiate ranks, are often rather deficient on the defensive side of the puck. After all, at lower levels, players get away with a lot more, in terms of taking shortcuts or playing a risky style.

But once these young players advance to the professional ranks, they often receive a rude awakening.

Although that may not apply to Colin Miller, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, the 6-1, 201-pound offensive defenseman still has a lot to learn about playing on the defensive side of the puck.

“He came out of junior where [players] get away with a lot of stuff [on the ice],” said Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake, who also serves as general manager for the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. “He can push the pace, he can jump [into the play]—he could do a lot of things that he might not get away with at the pro level.”

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LA Kings-Anaheim Ducks: It’s Still Early, But Anze Kopitar Is Winning The Matchup With Ryan Getzlaf

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to audio of May 6 interviews with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Matt Greene, Jeff Schultz, and head coach Darryl Sutter.


LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

ANAHEIM AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Heading into the second round playoff series between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, a matchup that Southern California hockey fans have been waiting twenty years for, much of the hype focused on the battle between two of the National Hockey League’s best centers, Anze Kopitar of the Kings, and Ryan Getzlaf of the Ducks.

Getzlaf is a finalist for this season’s Hart Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s Most Valuable Player, while Kopitar is a finalist for the Selke Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defensive forward.

Looking at their offensive numbers, Getzlaf is fifth in playoff scoring with three goals and seven assists for ten points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and six penalty minutes in seven playoff games.

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Jeff Schultz Puts In Solid Performance In Fill-In Role For LA Kings

AUDIO INTERVIEWS: Listen to post-game audio of interviews with Dustin Brown, Alec Martinez, Jeff Schultz, head coaches Darryl Sutter and Bruce Boudreau. Also listen to the pre-game press conference with National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman.


LA Kings defenseman Jeff Schultz

ANAHEIM, CA — With veteran, stay-at-home defensemen Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr unavailable due to injury, the Los Angeles Kings were forced to turn to a player who had not played in a National Hockey League game since March 31, 2013, when he was with the Washington Capitals.

Along the same lines, the Kings turned to a player who spent the entire season (aside from a couple of brief recalls to the Kings; he did not play) with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League.

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2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Los Angeles Kings Are Really Offensive

LA Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (foreground center)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — As the Los Angeles Kings prepared for tonight’s Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Anaheim Ducks, they knew that despite winning Game 1, they must play considerably better than they did, if they expect to win Game 2, let alone advance to the Western Conference Finals.

In Game 1, the Kings found themselves hemmed into their own zone by the Ducks for extended periods, much of that caused by their own mistakes.

“I thought our puck management wasn’t great,” said right wing Justin Williams. “I didn’t think our forecheck was great. I think all around, everyone has areas to improve on and myself, personally, also.”

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