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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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LA Kings Retired Trainer Pete Demers Was Honored To Serve On International Stage

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Head athletic trainer emeritus Pete Demers not only spent 37 years in the Los Angeles Kings organization, but he lent his expertise to both Canada and the United States on the international level, at World Championships, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey, and the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. In part seven of this series on his career, Demers reflects on his time on the international stage.


Retired Los Angeles Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers (third from right) worked several international tournaments, but got his start on the international stage, not with his native United States, but with Canada, in 1986.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — In 43 years of existence, the Los Angeles Kings came close once in 1993, but they have never been able to win the Holy Grail of hockey, the most revered and treasured trophy in professional team sports, the Stanley Cup.

That’s 43 years of stinging disappointment felt by players, coaches, general managers, owners, and fans alike. That also goes for the athletic trainers, and Kings head athletic trainer Pete Demers felt that sting for 34 of those 43 years, before retiring in 2006. Read more of this post

Former LA Kings Defensive Stalwart Mattias Norstrom Left The Game On His Own Terms

Former LA Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom (center), was honored by the Kings
during a pre-game ceremony on October 30, 2010, when the Kings hosted
the New Jersey Devils at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Photo: Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — On a night in which the Los Angeles Kings handed the once-vaunted New Jersey Devils a 3-1 defeat, shutting down the mighty $100 million superstar Ilya Kovalchuk in the process, the Kings took time to pay tribute to their past, and to one of their own.

Former Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom was back in Los Angeles on October 30, and was honored by the team during a pre-game ceremony.

“It is fun, it’s great being back,” said Norstrom, who played in 780 regular season games with the Kings over eleven seasons after being acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers on March 14, 1996. “I haven’t been back here for two-and-a-half years. The last time I was back was with the [Dallas] Stars in the Spring of ’08.”

Read more of this post

Gann Matsuda On The Hockey Writers: Even With His Career In Jeopardy, Ian Laperriere’s Priorities Are Right On The Mark

LOS ANGELES — Prior to their game against the New Jersey Devils on October 30 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Kings honored former Kings defenseman and team captain Mattias Norstrom, who was a stalwart warrior on the Kings’ blue line for eleven seasons until he was traded to the Dallas Stars in a trade deadline deal on February 27, 2007.

Several of Norstrom’s former Kings teammates were present for the pre-game ceremony, including defensemen Rob Blake and Mathieu Schneider, forwards Derek Armstrong, Nelson Emerson, Glen Murray and Luc Robitaille, and goaltender Jamie Storr.

Another was forward Ian Laperriere, who was acquired by the Kings in the same deal with the New York Rangers that sent Norstrom to the Kings.

“[The ceremony was a] great thing for a great player, a great teammate,” said Laperriere, who was a fan favorite in Los Angeles and received a raucous ovation when he was introduced. “He’s been a friend for years. I’m just glad I was able to make it.”

Laperriere said that he played with very few players who could match Norstrom’s work ethic, dedication or intensity, and added that such players seem to be a dying breed. Read more of this post

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