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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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2013 Late-Round LA Kings Draft Pick Defenseman Zac Leslie Did His Best To Get Noticed

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 — Traditionally, players who are selected by National Hockey League teams in the later rounds of the annual draft are overlooked until they move up a team’s depth chart significantly, and defenseman Zachary (Zac) Leslie, who was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, is no exception.

Indeed, there was no media coverage when he was announced as the Kings’ sixth round pick. No television, radio, web or print interviews. But fast forward a few weeks, and like so many of the other Kings prospects, the 6-1, 172-pound native of Ottawa, Ontario jumped at the chance to get noticed at the team’s annual Development Camp in July.

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Former Kings Superstar Defenseman Rob Blake Joins LA Kings Braintrust As Assistant GM

ROB BLAKE NAMED ASSISTANT GM: Frozen Royalty brings you in-depth coverage of the Los Angeles Kings naming their former superstar defenseman Rob Blake as their new assistant general manager, replacing Ron Hextall. For those who are critical of bringing Blake back into the fold, be sure to read the next story on Frozen Royalty, featuring Dean Lombardi explaining why the criticism is unwarranted.


Former Los Angeles Kings defenseman Rob Blake was named as the team’s assistant general manager on July 17, 2013.
(click above to view a larger image).
Photo: Wendi Kaminski/NHLI via Getty Images
and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — July 18 turned out to be a big news day for the Los Angeles Kings, who named former Kings defenseman Rob Blake as their assistant general manager, replacing Ron Hextall, who has accepted the assistant general manager position with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Kings also signed winger and captain Dustin Brown to an eight-year contract extension. A story on that, with comments from Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, as well as from Brown, will be published later here on Frozen Royalty.

Blake played the majority of his National Hockey League career with the Kings, who selected him in the fourth round (70th overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, beginning his NHL career with the Kings in the 1990-91 season.

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Playing In Traffic (No, Not Like That) Is The Plan For LA Kings LW Prospect Maxim Kitsyn

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown
here at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, June 26, 2010,
at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (158th overall) of the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, left wing Maxim Kitsyn played one season with the Mississisauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League, but has spent the vast majority of that time in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League, with the Novokuznetsk Metallurg and the Nizhny Novgorod Torpedo.

In Russia, the 6-2, 194-pound left wing (right hand shot) did not seem to be much of a factor in the attacking zone—his best season in Russia was in 2008-09, when he scored five goals and added two assists for seven points in 31 games for Novokuznetsk Metallurg.

Kitsyn got his chance in Canadian major junior hockey during the 2010-11 season, scoring nine goals and tallying 17 assists for 26 points in 32 regular season games with Mississisauga (now the Mississisauga Steelheads). He stepped up in a big way during the playoffs, scoring ten goals and contributing nine assists for 19 points in twenty games.

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