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Showing Signs Of Progress: LA Kings Blue Line Prospects Nicolas Deslauriers, Derek Forbort, And Kevin Gravel

EL SEGUNDO, CA — All it takes is a quick glance at the roster to see that the Los Angeles Kings are set with their top six defensemen, with Drew Doughty, assuming the Kings can get him to sign a contract soon, leading their blue line corps.

Defenseman prospect Derek Forbort 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

The Kings are also developing several young prospects for their blue line, including Jake Muzzin, Thomas Hickey, Viatcheslav Voynov, Andrew Campbell, David Kolomatis, and Patrick Mullen—all played for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, last season.

But if you think the pipeline ends there, sorry, guess again.

Indeed, even more prospects are working their way up the ladder, trying to achieve the dream of someday playing in the National Hockey League, and three of them, Kevin Gravel, Derek Forbort and Nicolas Deslauriers, participated in the Kings 2011 Development Camp in mid-July at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, the Kings’ practice facility. Read more of this post

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Strong Goalie Pipeline Is A First And A Sign Of Strength For The Los Angeles Kings

Goalie prospect Martin Jones speaks 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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Jonathan Quick having established himself as a legitimate number one goaltender in the National Hockey League, and with Jonathan Bernier performing admirably in the backup role in his rookie year this past season, the Los Angeles Kings may have a one-two punch in goal that they have never had before.

Although Rogie Vachon is still the best goaltender in the history of the franchise, and Gary Edwards, the backup netminder during all but one of Vachon’s seasons with the Kings, was no slouch, the Kings’ current netminders have the potential to surpass the tandem of Vachon and Edwards.

Indeed, the Kings certainly appear to be set in goal for the foreseeable future. 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

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: LA Kings’ Jonathan Bernier Navigating Uncharted Waters

LOS ANGELES — After a brilliant year in the American Hockey League, goaltender Jonathan Bernier had a spot on the Los Angeles Kings’ 2010-11 roster locked up as soon as the 2009-10 season ended.

Indeed, the Kings’ first round pick (11th overall) in the 2006 National Hockey League Entry Draft is in the midst of the biggest challenge of his hockey career, not to earn a roster spot, but to be a backup goaltender for the first time in his career, and although he has started just two games so far this season, it is apparent that he still has some growing up to do in terms of becoming a full-fledged NHL netminder. Read more of this post

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