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LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Nicolas Deslauriers Is Still Playing Catch Up In Defensive Zone

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Story also includes video of media interviews with Anze Kopitar, Jake Muzzin and head coach Darryl Sutter following the Los Angeles Kings’ practice on April 20, 2013.


Nicolas Deslauriers
Photo: Scott Slingsby/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — Since he was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round (84th overall) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft, defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers has been a prospect that pundits and fans alike have kept their eyes on.

The reason: Deslauriers, 22, is a 6-1, 214-pound blue liner who can play a physical game, and has good offensive skills. In other words, he has a lot of the tools, especially the size and the physical game, to be the prototypical type of player any NHL team would want guarding their zone.

Deslauriers played his junior hockey for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League {QMJHL), a league known for lots of offense and very little defense.

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LA Kings Blue Line Prospect Nicolas Deslauriers Wants To Dominate The AHL in 2012-13

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Frozen Royalty continues its summer coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and their young prospects with a look at defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers, who completed his rookie season in the American Hockey League in 2011-12, with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate.


LA Kings defenseman prospect Nicolas Deslauriers
Photo: Scott Slingsby/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — After three seasons with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, and one season with the Gatineau Olympiques, both in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Nicolas Deslauriers was an offensively-gifted defensemen—the QMJHL is not known for being a great defensive league, to be sure. Nevertheless, his play in the defensive zone left something to be desired.

But the 21-year-old native of LaSalle, Quebec is a good skater, and has a heavy shot from the point. Add to that the fact that he is a 6-1, 214-pound blue liner, and it is easy to see why the Los Angeles Kings gambled on him in the third round (84th overall selection) of the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft.

“Nicolas Deslauriers is really coming on,” Manchester Monarchs head coach Mark Morris told Frozen Royalty back in January 2012. “He’s made huge Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Are Trying To Bring Out Goalie Prospect Chris Gibson’s Athletic Ability

Goaltending prospect Chris Gibson, shown here speaking to the media during the Los Angeles Kings 2012 Development Camp, July 6-10, 2012, at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp for their young prospects, goaltender Chris Gibson, who was the Kings’ second round pick (49th overall) just weeks before, looked a bit overwhelmed in goal as he was picked apart during one of the scrimmages.

“It was a little bit overwhelming for the young guy early on, going up against some real high level shooters,” said goaltending coach Bill Ranford last July. “I thought he handled himself very well.”

“I kind of broke it down for him when he’s going up against the forwards,” added Ranford. “You’ve got [Tyler] Toffoli, who was the top scorer in the Ontario League. You’ve got [Jordan] Weal, who was in the top five in the Western Hockey League the last two years. [Linden] Vey was the top scorer in the Western Hockey League this year. Then you’ve got a guy like [Brandon] Kozun, who was a top scorer two years ago, and finished second the previous year [in the WHL], and [just finished his rookie season] in the American Hockey League. It’s not Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Rolled The Dice On Over-Agers Tanner Pearson, Thomas Hyka In 2012 NHL Draft

Left wing Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
on June 22, 2012, at the Consol Energy Center
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Every year, for those following the National Hockey League Entry Draft, all the hype and the attention goes to the top-rated young prospects, and the team with the first overall pick in that year’s draft.

This year’s draft was no different, with all the pre-draft attention focused on the top prospect in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, right wing Nail Yakupov (Sarnia Sting, Ontario Hockey League), and the Edmonton Oilers, owners of the first pick in the draft.

As each year’s draft wears on, it becomes more and more of a crapshoot, in terms of whether or not a selected prospect will ever make it to the NHL, and this year was no exception. Indeed, after the Oilers selected Yakupov, and with the rest of the top prospects disappearing off the board right after that, the crapshoot began in earnest.

As much as every NHL team covets the first overall pick in the draft, they would Read more of this post

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