LA Kings Do Development Camp Differently

AUDIO: Story includes audio interviews with Nelson Emerson and Mike O’Connell from the Los Angeles Kings development staff.


LA Kings Director of Player Development Nelson Emerson
(click above for larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Years ago, the Los Angeles Kings ran their annual summer Development Camp for their young prospects as many National Hockey League clubs still do: focusing on the on-ice part of the game, including lots of scrimmage time. Some teams emphasize the scrimmage portion of their development camps, using that to retain and increase fan interest during the off-season lull. Some teams even go so far as to make their development camp scrimmages enough of a spectacle in which fans buy tickets to watch the games.

In the early years of their Development Camp, the Kings did that, too. But as Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi built his team into a two-time Stanley Cup Champion in recent years, their Development Camp has evolved into one that stresses off-ice instruction and training as much or more than on-ice instruction and drills. In fact, over the past handful of years, it has not been uncommon for the Kings to not play a scrimmage at all during their Development Camp. On top of that, their camp is so low-key that the team does not announce exact starting times for on-ice sessions, and only one day is designated as “media day,” when the local media are granted access to the prospects and the development staff for interviews.

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Solid Progress For LA Kings First-Year Pro Defenseman Prospect Alex Roach

LA Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach, shown here with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — With the Los Angeles Kings having failed to earn an invitation to the National Hockey League’s post-season party this year, it might be easy for many to forget that both of their minor league affiliates are in the midst of playoff runs of their own.

Their current American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, won their first round series against the Portland Pirates in five games (best of five-game series), and will open their second round series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins this evening (4:00 PM Pacific time in Manchester).

The Kings’ current ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign, qualified for second round action by eliminating the Colorado Eagles in seven games. After winning their first two games of their second round series against the Utah Grizzlies in Ontario, the Reign play Game 3 this evening (4:05 PM Pacific time) in Utah.

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A Glimpse At The Critical Role Development Has Played In LA Kings’ Championships

Former NHL defenseman and general manager Mike O’Connell (standing) instructs LA Kings prospects during the team’s 2014 Development Camp on July 8, 2014, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

2014 DEVELOPMENT CAMP: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings’ 2014 Development Camp with a story on what the team is trying to accomplish during their annual camp for their young prospects and the impact their development staff has had on the team’s success. ALSO: listen to an audio interview with former Kings left wing Mike Donnelly, now on the team’s development and scouting staffs.


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The hockey world is now in what should probably be known as The Dreaded Lull, that period between the height of unrestricted free agent signings on July 1, and the start of National Hockey League training camps in mid-September, a period when it seems like everything related to the game has been sucked into a black hole.

The result: hockey fans are bored out of their minds, clamoring for any little tidbit of something hockey-related to help them survive the two-and-a-half months before training camps open.

Something that helps fans cope is that NHL teams now have development camps for their young prospects in July and August, giving fans and hockey media alike something to chew on during The Dreaded Lull, and the Los Angeles Kings are no exception.

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Los Angeles Kings Are Flying High, But Are Still In Rebuild Mode

LOS ANGELES — With the Los Angeles Kings flying high, having won nine straight games, setting a franchise record for consecutive wins with a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Red Wings on February 6, many have probably forgotten one important thing.

The Kings are still in rebuild mode.

Indeed, even with the Kings currently living in the rarefied air of fourth place in the Western Conference, they are still not where they want or need to be. Read more of this post

Davis Drewiske Looking To Lock Down Roster Spot

Davis Drewiske Photo: LA Kings

Davis Drewiske
Photo: LA Kings

EL SEGUNDO AND ONTARIO, CA — Looking at the young defensemen of the Los Angeles Kings, the spotlight is on Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson. But another young defenseman came up to big club to play some solid minutes in seventeen games last season.

Indeed, 24-year-old defenseman Davis Drewiske got a late recall from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, and filled in admirably on the Kings’ blue line.

“I got to play more and more the longer I was here,” said Drewiske. “I got to play in a lot of different situations and a lot of different guys. I got a good feel for the speed of the game for some of the opponents and for the guys I played with. It was a great experience.” Read more of this post

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