LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Goalie Prospect Jeff Zatkoff Approaches 2011-12 Season With Renewed Focus

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the years superstar and should-be-Hall-of-Fame netminder Rogie Vachon dominated while toiling between the pipes, goaltending has traditionally been the weakest link for the Los Angeles Kings.

Even goaltender Mario Lessard only had one outstanding season with the Kings in 1980-81. He even played in the 1981 National Hockey League All-Star Game that year, along with the Kings’ “Triple Crown Line,” which featured Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.

Kelly Hrudey backstopped the Kings during the Gretzky Era, and helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992-93. But that team won by outscoring its opponents, not because of its defense and goaltending. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings – Rookie Tournament 2011, Game 2

Logo courtesy LA Kings/NHL

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After falling asleep at the wheel in the third period in Game 1 of their annual Rookie Tournament against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Los Angeles Kings redeemed themselves with a 4-3 victory in Game 2 on Thursday afternoon at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, the Kings’ practice facility.

The Kings rookies big line of Brandon Kozun, Linden Vey and Jordan Nolan accounted for most of the Kings’ scoring, accounting for three of their four goals, including two by Nolan, and four assists.

Center Jordan Weal also scored for the Kings rookies.

Nolan’s second goal capped a five-on-three power play in the waning seconds of the game, giving the Kings rookies their margin of victory.
Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Phoenix Coyotes vs. Los Angeles Kings – Rookie Tournament 2011, Game 1

Logo courtesy LA Kings/NHL

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Phoenix Coyotes rookies are in town this week to face the Los Angeles Kings rookies in the annual Rookie Tournament between the young prospects of the two teams.

In Game 1 of the two-game tourney, the Coyotes rookies stormed back from a 6-3 deficit after two periods for a come-from-behind, 8-7 win over the Kings rookies on Wednesday night at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, the Kings’ practice facility. Read more of this post

Frozen Royalty Audio: Interview With LA Kings Head Coach Terry Murray, August 24, 2011

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Ever since he completed his first season with the Los Angeles Kings, head coach Terry Murray has graciously taken time out of his busy schedule during the late summer when he is busy preparing for the upcoming season—rookie camp, rookie tournament, training camp—to talk with Frozen Royalty about the previous season and what’s ahead for the upcoming one.

Los Angeles Kings head coach
Terry Murray
Photo: David Sheehan

This summer, we talked in his office for about an hour on August 24, 2011, and you can read the five-story series based on that interview:

Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post
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