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LA Kings Center Prospect Robert Czarnik Is Working Hard To Stay Out Of The Shadow

Center prospect Robert Czarnik 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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although he is certainly not one of the Los Angeles Kings’ prospects whose name rolls right off the tip of your tongue, center prospect Robert Czarnik is pushing to make an impact at the next level.

Czarnik, 21, is no longer eligible to play in Canada’s junior hockey leagues (he had an over-age year of eligibility left for 2010-11), so the Kings will now have to find room for him with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, their primary minor league affiliate, or with the Ontario Reign, their ECHL affiliate.

The 6-0, 185-pound native of Detroit, Michigan was selected by the Kings in the third round (63rd overall) of the 2008 National Hockey League Entry Draft, fresh out of two seasons with the United States Under-18 Team. Read more of this post

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Dean Lombardi: Jack Johnson Is Learning His Craft…Belatedly

LOMBARDI ON JOHNSON: In part 4 of a series, Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talked about young defenseman Jack Johnson and the challenges he faces in his development. Look for part 5 later in the week.


LOS ANGELES — This season, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson has wowed fans with end-to-end rushes, nifty shootout goals and better offensive play. But on defense, even though he has improved since his rookie season, he has blown coverages in the defensive zone and has gotten caught up ice on several occasions, giving up outnumbered attacks.

In other words, the 23-year-old native of Indianapolis, Indiana has been both breathtaking and aggravating to watch, all at the same time.

Now in his third full season in the National Hockey League, Johnson has shown the offensive skill and athletic ability that made him a first round pick (third overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. But his decisions in the defensive zone often leave people shaking their heads after he makes a bad read or blows a coverage.

During a recent interview, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi explained that Johnson is learning his craft…belatedly. Read more of this post

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