Down On The Farm With The Manchester Monarchs: Blue Line Corps May Be Their Greatest Asset

DOWN ON THE FARM: Between goaltending and their defensive corps, the Manchester Monarchs’ greatest strength will be on their side of the red line in the 2011-12 season.


Thomas Hickey is beginning to look like he might develop
into the defenseman the Los Angeles Kings were hoping
for when they selected him with the fourth overall pick
in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Manchester Monarchs, the primary minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, are 1-1 after their first two games of the 2011-12 season, allowing just three goals in those games. They return to action tonight against the Providence Bruins, the start of a three-games-in-three-nights road trip in which they will also face the Portland Pirates on October 15, and the Springfield Falcons on October 16.

Although no one in their right mind, would draw conclusions about a team based on just two games, especially so early in a season, the Monarchs figure to be one of the stingier teams in the American Hockey League.

Indeed, with goaltenders Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff expected to improve upon solid seasons in 2010-11, the rest is up to the skaters in front of them. 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

Frozen Royalty Audio: 2011 Los Angeles Kings Development Camp – Part 1

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp for their young prospects was already well underway by the time their first on-ice session that was open to the public and the media on July 11 came around. Read more of this post

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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