LA Kings LW Michael Mersch Talks About Move Up To The NHL, First NHL Goal

LA Kings left wing Michael Mersch
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy National Hockey League

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For many National Hockey League rookies, it takes dozens of games, often a lot more than that, for them to record their first NHL point, let alone score their first NHL goal.

For Los Angeles Kings rookie left wing Michael Mersch, it took just nine games.

The 6-2, 218-pound native of Park Ridge, Illinois scored his first NHL goal and tallied his first NHL point at the 5:42 mark of the second period on December 29, helping lead the Kings to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Mersch, whose game is trademarked by his net-front presence, scored the goal in typical Michael Mersch fashion, as he won a loose puck battle in the right corner, and then took the puck straight to the front of the net. Using a power move, he took the puck to the goalmouth and slid it between the leg pads of Oilers goaltender Cam Talbot.

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Only A Matter Of Time Now Before LA Kings LW Prospect Michael Mersch Bursts Onto NHL Scene

LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch (left), shown here scoring in overtime of Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Final against the Utica Comets on June 6, 2015, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

AUDIO/VIDEO: Also includes audio of interviews with Ontario Reign left wing and Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch and Reign head coach Mike Stothers. Also linked is video of an interview with Kings assistant general manager (and Reign general manager) Rob Blake.


ONTARIO, CA — Borrowing from the various Star Trek television series and motion pictures, the Los Angeles Kings have a power forward-style left wing prospect in their system who was already moving at warp speed towards playing in the National Hockey League.

Last season, you could say that younger player was moving at the low end of the warp speed scale, maybe warp 1 or 2. But with the 2015-16 season just a handful of games old, it is very much apparent that this player has quickly reached top speeds, exceeding warp 9.

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LA Kings LW Prospect Michael Mersch Is Powering His Way Towards The NHL

LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch (left), shown here scoring in overtime of Game 1 of the 2015 Calder Cup Final against the Utica Comets on June 6, 2015, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester, New Hampshire.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — Don’t look now, folks, but the Los Angeles Kings could have a star power forward in the making down on the farm, and it might not be who you think it is.

“He’s as good as anybody in the American [Hockey] League level, and I don’t know if there’s any better at the National Hockey League level in front of the net,” said assistant general manager Rob Blake. “He’ll stay in there, stay in the battle, and he’s got a touch [for] scoring. You saw that during the season, and it increased at the end of the season, and he was very dominant throughout the playoffs.”

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LA Kings Have A Power Forward In The Making In Michael Mersch

AUDIO AND VIDEO: Story includes a video interview with Michael Mersch and an audio interview with Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake.


LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch,
shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For many, many years, the Los Angeles Kings were grossly deficient in the areas of drafting and developing young players. Of course, they were so bad at drafting players that their dreadful player development usually didn’t matter.

But all that has changed since President/General Manager Dean Lombardi joined the club in April 2006. He quickly made drafting and development one of the top priorities of the franchise. That focus has paid off in spades, and now, the Kings are now one of the top teams in the National Hockey League when it comes to drafting and developing their young prospects.

Evidence of that can be seen on the 2013-14 roster, which includes the likes of Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Slava Voynov, among others, all of whom are homegrown players—some are late-round draft picks— who are now filling significant roles, and it doesn’t stop there.

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Even Without A First Round Pick, LA Kings Are Looking For Big Things From Their 2011 Draft Class

LOS ANGELES — The 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 24-25, was expected to be quite uneventful for the Los Angeles Kings, who did not have a pick in the first round after they traded it to the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline in the deal that brought winger Dustin Penner to the Kings.


Logo courtesy: National Hockey League

Despite that, the Kings were more than optimistic about the prospects they were able to bring into the fold with their picks in rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 25.

“We’re excited,” Kings Co-Director of Amateur Scouting Michael Futa told LAKings.com. “You always talk about that when you’re leaving the draft, about your excitement level, and the energy.”

“Today was a long day, especially for the first time for us, as a group, to go through yesterday without a pick—that was an eternity,” Futa added. “To be active [in the first round the last handful of years], and then to see things fall the way they did [this year], we were thrilled.” Read more of this post

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