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2013 NHL Draft: LA Kings Net Seven Prospects, Maybe Even A Couple Of Gems

LOS ANGELES — Despite not having a selection in the first round of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, held on June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the Los Angeles Kings appear to have made the most of their ten picks in this year’s draft, adding seven new prospects to their system.

The Kings watched the cream of the 2013 prospect crop skate past them in the first round as a result of the acquisition of forward Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first round pick in the 2012 or 2013 NHL Draft, on February 23, 2012. At the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Blue Jackets opted for the Kings’ 2013 first round pick, leaving the Kings on the sidelines until the second round.

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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

2012-13 Will Be A Big Test For Los Angeles Kings Goaltender Prospect Martin Jones

LA Kings goaltender prospect Martin Jones will be under the
spotlight as the clear-cut number one goalie for the AHL’s
Manchester Monarchs this season.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — It was not so long ago that goaltender Martin Jones of the Western Hockey League’s Calgary Hitmen was passed over in the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

Talk about discouraging.

But scouts for the Los Angeles Kings were impressed by his play—18-8-1 record, 2.12 goals-against average (GAA), .911 save percentage, and one shutout—in the 2007-08 season. That earned him an invitation to the Kings Development Camp in July 2008, where he made an even bigger impression, so much so that they signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract on October 2, 2008.

Jones went on to shine in goal for the Hitmen for two more seasons before making the jump to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (Kings’ primary minor league affiliate), splitting time with netminder Jeff Zatkoff, also a Kings prospect at the time, in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

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LA Kings Goaltender Prospect J.F. Berube Will Need To Pick Up Development Pace In 2012-13

Goaltending prospect Jean-Francois Berube, shown here during the
Los Angeles Kings 2012 Development Camp, July 6-10, 2012,
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Jonathan Quick being a finalist for the 2011-12 Vezina Trophy, and the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in last season’s playoffs, leading the Los Angeles Kings to the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise, the Kings have their first truly elite goaltender since Rogie Vachon starred for them from 1971-72 through 1977-78.

But even with Quick firmly established as the Kings’ top netminder, a National Hockey League team can never have enough goaltending. After all, no netminder can play all 82 regular season games, and then there are injuries to consider.

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