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Passed Up Twice On Draft Day, LA Kings Prospect Tanner Pearson Reaches NHL Ice Faster Than Expected

VIDEO: Includes exclusive video of the May 19 media interview with Tanner Pearson.


LA Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After watching young left wing prospect Tanner Pearson make his National Hockey League debut on May 18 against the San Jose Sharks in a second round playoff game is quite the surprise. After all, it was not all that long ago that his future in hockey was rather murky, and that’s putting it mildly.

Indeed, even though he became eligible for the NHL Draft in 2010, he went undrafted for two years before the Los Angeles Kings selected him in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

In fact, Pearson’s career in Canadian junior hockey did not have an auspicious start, as the vast majority of legitimate NHL prospects coming out of Canada go right to major junior hockey at 16 years of age. Although Pearson was selected by the Barrie Colts in the 2008 Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft, the fourth round (266th overall) selection saw the writing on the wall.

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LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Nicolas Deslauriers Is Still Playing Catch Up In Defensive Zone

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Story also includes video of media interviews with Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter following the Los Angeles Kings’ practice on April 20, 2013.


Nicolas Deslauriers
Photo: Scott Slingsby/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Since he was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round (84th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers has been a prospect that pundits and fans alike have kept their eyes on.

The reason: Deslauriers, 22, is a 6-1, 214-pound blue liner who can play a physical game, and has good offensive skills. In other words, he has a lot of the tools, especially the size and the physical game, to be the prototypical type of player any NHL team would want guarding their zone.

Deslauriers played his junior hockey for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League {QMJHL), a league known for lots of offense and very little defense.

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LA Kings Right Wing Prospect Brandon Kozun Is Finally Growing Up

LA Kings right wing prospect Brandon Kozun, who is playing this season for the Manchester Monarchs
of the American Hockey League.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Over the past year or two, when it comes to the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects, players such as Tyler Toffoli and Jake Muzzin (both are now with the Kings), Linden Vey, Tanner Pearson and Martin Jones have gotten the vast majority of the media attention, and for good reason, as they have been the go-to players for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.

Before that, another young player, an offensively gifted prospect who has the added story line of being a local product who played his youth hockey in the Los Angeles area, suddenly found himself out of the spotlight almost completely.

To be sure, Brandon Kozun, now 23 years old, was quickly becoming the forgotten prospect, in terms of the media attention a National Hockey League prospect might normally receive.

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Dean Lombardi Says LA Kings Have “Lucked Out” With 2012 First Round Draft Pick Tanner Pearson

Left/right wing prospect Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first
round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — This past summer, the Los Angeles Kings had the misfortune of selecting last in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft.

Of course, selecting last in the first round is the “privilege” that every Stanley Cup Champion earns for upcoming draft, and as you probably surmised, the Kings were not complaining after they won the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise on June 11, 2012.

Most pundits would tell you that, more often than not, the draft is a huge crap shoot after the first handful of picks, and no one expected the Kings to get an impact player with the 30th overall selection.

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