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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LA Kings LW Prospect Maxim Kitsyn: “It’s Just Me. I Have To Be Better…It’s Not Anybody Else”

LA Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here
playing for the ECHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When we last checked in with Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Maxim Kitsyn in December 2014, his head coach said that “he wills his way, every shift.”

A couple of months later, that hasn’t changed.

“You know [that] when he puts on the uniform, he’s going to give you 110 percent,” said Jason Christie, head coach of the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ current ECHL affiliate. “You see him out there—he works, he competes. That’s why he got a call up—because he battles. He’s determined. I think that’s the biggest thing—how determined he is, as a player.”

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LA Kings Among Five NHL Teams Bringing AHL Affiliates To California

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The phrase, “Go West, young man!” has been around for many decades, and although it will take them 80 years, the American Hockey League is doing just that.

Indeed, it’s been in the works for years, and there has been an ever-increasing amount of talk about it over the past few years, but it all became reality on January 29, when the AHL announced that the affiliates of five National Hockey League teams will move to California to form a new Pacific Division of the AHL. The teams in this new division will begin play next season, marking the first time the AHL will have teams in California in what will be their 80-year history.

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Dedication And Work Ethic Are Pushing LA Kings Prospect Maxim Kitsyn’s Development Forward

AUDIO: Story includes audio interviews with Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Maxim Kitsyn and Ontario Reign head coach Jason Christie.


LA Kings forward prospect Maxim Kitsyn, shown here
during the Kings’ 2014 training camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — Back in 2010, when the National Hockey League Entry Draft was held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi was in a gambling mood.

For the Kings, that draft was highlighted by their selection of right wing Tyler Toffoli in the second round (47th overall).

Toffoli, now a Stanley Cup Champion, made it to the Kings to stay last season. But the Kings selected four other players in the 2010 draft, including defenseman Derek Forbort, who was their first round selection (15th overall), center Jordan Weal (third round, 70th overall), and defenseman Kevin Gravel (fifth round, 148th overall).

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LA Kings D Prospect Alex Roach Is Quickly Earning Trust, Gaining Confidence With Ontario Reign

AUDIO: Story includes audio interviews with Ontario Reign head coach Jason Christie and Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach.


LA Kings defenseman prospect Alex Roach, shown here
during the Kings’ 2014 training camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — The name, Alex Roach might not be familiar, but if he plays his cards right, and if the Los Angeles Kings guessed right back in 2011, he might be wearing a Kings jersey in a few years.

Roach, a left-shot defenseman prospect, played four seasons for the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, but was not drafted by a National Hockey League team. He was, however, invited to the Kings’ 2011 training camp, and turned enough heads to earn a three-year, entry-level contract, signed on September 26, 2011.

Roach played three more seasons with the Hitmen after that, and had a five-game stint with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign (Kings ECHL affiliate) at the end of the 2013-14 season.

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