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.

Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Are Trying To Bring Out Goalie Prospect Chris Gibson’s Athletic Ability

Goaltending prospect Chris Gibson, shown here speaking to the media 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 — During the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp for their young prospects, goaltender Chris Gibson, who was the Kings’ second round pick (49th overall) just weeks before, looked a bit overwhelmed in goal as he was picked apart during one of the scrimmages.

“It was a little bit overwhelming for the young guy early on, going up against some real high level shooters,” said goaltending coach Bill Ranford last July. “I thought he handled himself very well.”

“I kind of broke it down for him when he’s going up against the forwards,” added Ranford. “You’ve got [Tyler] Toffoli, who was the top scorer in the Ontario League. You’ve got [Jordan] Weal, who was in the top five in the Western Hockey League the last two years. [Linden] Vey was the top scorer in the Western Hockey League this year. Then you’ve got a guy like [Brandon] Kozun, who was a top scorer two years ago, and finished second the previous year [in the WHL], and [just finished his rookie season] in the American Hockey League. It’s not Read more of this post

LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Goalie Prospect Jeff Zatkoff Approaches 2011-12 Season With Renewed Focus

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the years superstar and should-be-Hall-of-Fame netminder Rogie Vachon dominated while toiling between the pipes, goaltending has traditionally been the weakest link for the Los Angeles Kings.

Even goaltender Mario Lessard only had one outstanding season with the Kings in 1980-81. He even played in the 1981 National Hockey League All-Star Game that year, along with the Kings’ “Triple Crown Line,” which featured Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.

Kelly Hrudey backstopped the Kings during the Gretzky Era, and helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992-93. But that team won by outscoring its opponents, not because of its defense and goaltending. Read more of this post

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