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Transition From College Hockey To The AHL Hasn’t Been Easy For LA Kings D Prospect Derek Forbort

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 2010 first round selection, defenseman Derek Forbort. An audio interview with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake is also included.


LA Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — As it often is for young players making the jump from major junior hockey in Canada to the professional ranks, moving from college hockey to the pros can be very challenging, if not very, very difficult.

Defenseman Derek Forbort, who was selected by the Kings in the first round (15th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, played in the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program before heading to the University of North Dakota (UND) for three seasons.

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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.


LA Kings goaltender prospect J.F. Berube (left) and Kim Dillabaugh (right),
who handles goaltender development for the Kings, shown here
during a practice session on May 8, 2014, at the
Toyota Sports Center in EL Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

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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Western NHL Fans No Longer Out In The Cold When It Comes To National TV Coverage

LOS ANGELES — Oh what a difference eight years and six Stanley Cup Championships makes.

On July 22, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports released their 2014-15 national television schedule, one that features at least one Western Conference team in 56 games of its 103-game schedule. It also offers 35 “West-friendly” games, that is, games played on weekends or that begin at 6:00 PM Pacific time or later on weekdays.

The schedule released by the NHL and NBC Sports states that the 2014 Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings will be on NBC or NBCSN twelve times, but lists 13 games with the Kings as one of the combatants. But looking at the schedule on a broader scale, the 2014-15 national television schedule is a huge improvement for the league compared just a handful of years ago when the West was treated as a forgotten stepchild.

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Adding Strength Is The Priority For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Zac Leslie

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 2013 sixth round selection Zac Leslie. An audio interview with Leslie is also included.


Defenseman prospect Zac Leslie, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.met

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back in June 2013, defenseman Zachary (Zac) Leslie was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft and about one week later, he found himself on the ice at the team’s 2013 Development Camp, facing several of the Kings’ older prospects, many of whom had experience at the American Hockey League level.

Going up against players with a lot more experience was quite the challenge.

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