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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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2011-12 Year-In-Review: Quick, Blue Line Corps Were LA Kings’ Greatest Strengths

Los Angeles Kings superstar goaltender Jonathan Quick,
shown here during the team’s Stanley Cup Championship Rally
on June 14, 2012, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — While the Los Angeles Kings struggled mightily to score goals throughout most of the 2011-12 regular season, the addition of forward Jeff Carter, and the recalls of rookie left wings Dwight King and Jordan Nolan, along with rookie defenseman Slava Voynov, gave the team balance throughout their lineup. That balance allowed head coach Darryl Sutter to add a new wrinkle to their system, one that gave them the ability to play much more aggressively on the puck, while maintaining, if not strengthening, their already very solid defensive zone play.

The Kings were able to use those changes to their advantage during the final two months of the regular season to squeak into the playoffs, and then, make their dominating run through Vancouver, St. Louis, Phoenix and New Jersey during the playoffs, on their way to the first Stanley Cup Read more of this post

Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Zatkoff Having An All-Star Season In Goal, While Jones Takes Small Step Backwards

Jeff Zatkoff (left) and Martin Jones (right), shown here during the
Los Angeles Kings 2011 Training Camp on September 23, 2011.
Photo: David Sheehan

LOS ANGELES — Although Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick is garnering more and more consideration as one of the National Hockey League’s best goaltenders—something that has been virtually unheard of when discussing Kings netminders over their 44-year history—and with Jonathan Bernier possessing the skills, if not the opportunity, to be a starting goalie in the NHL, as the old saying goes, a team can never have enough goaltending.

As such, the Kings have continued to draft and develop young goaltenders, and they have two young netminders having solid years with their primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. Read more of this post

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