LA Kings Prospect Andy Andreoff Hopes To Leave A Mark In Manchester In 2012-13

2012 DEVELOPMENT CAMP EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Kings 2012 Development Camp began on Friday, July 6. Frozen Royalty continues its coverage of the Kings’ young prospects with a look at left wing Andy Andreoff, a third round draft pick in 2011.

Forward prospect Andy Andreoff, shown here during
the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/
LOS ANGELES — Last fall, left wing prospect Andy Andreoff was busy turning some heads during the Los Angeles Kings’ annual Rookie Camp, and he even lasted longer in the team’s 2011 Training Camp than most expected of a third round draft pick (80th overall, 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft).

The 6-1, 201-pound native of Pickering, Ontario, known for his physical play, opened some eyes by displaying some decent skills.

That combination of physical play and skill is what grabbed the attention of Kings scouts in the 2010-11 season, when he broke out for 33 goals and 42 assists for 75 points, with a +34 plus/minus rating, and 109 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games with the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League.

Andreoff also scored three goals and contributed eight assists for eleven points with a +3 rating and 16 penalty minutes in ten playoff games.

Coming off that season, and knowing that he made a strong showing at the Kings’ 2011 Development Camp, and the subsequent Rookie Camp, Andreoff also made it past the first roster cuts during training camp last fall.

Andreoff was part of the next group that was assigned to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, and there was some thought that he might start the 2011-12 season with the Monarchs, at the very least. He got some great news on October 12, 2011, when the Kings signed him to a three-year, entry-level contract. But there was also some bad news, as he was assigned back to Oshawa at the same time.

Having to return to his junior team for the 2011-12 season was tough for the 21-year-old to accept, at first.

“The biggest challenge might have been getting sent down from the AHL at the start of the season, learning that I had to go back [to the OHL] for another year,” Andreoff told Frozen Royalty in an exclusive interview. “It was a little disappointing, but you learn from that.”

To his credit, Andreoff did not pout. Rather, he took advantage of the opportunity.

“I had to battle through it,” he noted. “It’s a little tough to get sent down. But I learned a lot from the coaches [at Oshawa, they] helped me a lot, so it was good to get back with the Generals for my last year.”

“I don’t think [getting sent down] was anything bad,” he added. “They just thought I’d get more ice time with the Generals, and that was better for me, as a player, to develop more and be ready for the next year. I got a lot of ice time with the Generals, so I was able to improve my skating, and my skills there. Now I’m ready to be a pro, at Manchester, or wherever I might play.”

It was also a lesson in humility.

“It was a good thing,” said Andreoff. “It taught me that you’re not going to be handed everything you want. I got drafted, and I had a good summer, working out, and training at the [2011] Development Camp. Then, I went to Manchester for a little bit.”

“When they sent me back from Manchester, it was good to be back with the guys again, back with the Generals,” added Andreoff. “It’s a great organization. It’s a pretty close group [there], so I was pretty excited to play with them for my last year [in junior hockey].”

Andreoff’s 2011-12 numbers dropped considerably from his 2010-11 marks, with 22 goals and 36 assists for 58 points, with a +1 rating and 88 penalty minutes in 57 regular season games this past year.

Andreoff also scored a goal and tallied three assists in six playoff games.

Despite the decline in his offensive output, Andreoff’s development appears to be on track, especially in terms of his defensive zone play, an aspect of the game that most young prospects need a boatload of work on.

“I thought I had a pretty good year, all around,” he said. “Everything went well, offensively and defensively. I learned a lot from [Oshawa head coach] D.J. Smith. He’s a great coach. He taught me a lot of things about the defensive zone that’ll help me with my game when I become a pro.”

The Kings also kept an eye on him during the season.

Nelson Emerson, [who heads up Player Development for the Kings], came to a couple of games in Oshawa,” Andreoff explained. “We went out for lunch a couple of times, and went over video [of his play], looking at the key things that the Kings like—board battles, face-offs, and stuff like that.”

“One of the things they keep telling me to work on is my first three steps, having quick feet and explosiveness, so I can be ready for the next level, because it’s a lot faster,” he elaborated.

After the Generals lost to the Niagara Icedogs in the OHL playoffs, Andreoff was recalled by the Monarchs, getting into five regular season games, scoring one goal, his first in the AHL, and in professional hockey.

“It felt great to get that first goal out of the way,” he beamed. “Some guys struggle, and they get nervous as they play more games, but don’t get the goal, so I was happy that I got it out of the way in the first couple of games.”

“I was really happy about that,” he added. “I’m looking forward to that giving me some confidence going into next season.”

Like most young players taking the step up from junior hockey, playing at the AHL level required some adjustments.

“It took me a couple of games to get used to it, but I got comfortable with it, eventually,” said Andreoff. “There’s a great group of guys at Manchester, and they helped me out with everything.”

“I was talking to the guys, asking how it was, in the practices,” added Andreoff. “It’s a little different with the speed, and there’s a lot of older guys, in their late twenties, and they’re a little stronger than in the OHL.”

Andreoff, who also played in four playoff games with the Monarchs, scoring two goals, got a crash course introduction into life at the professional level.

“What stood out the most was being a pro,” he stressed. “It’s a little different in junior, where you live with your billets, and I lived in Oshawa, which is pretty close to my family. Pickering is only 15 minutes away.”

“Being a pro, you live on your own, in your own condo,” he added. “You have to do your own thing—[prepare] food, and everything.”

Andreoff also took note of how hard the pros work.

“At Manchester, Marc-André Cliche was our captain, and he worked hard, on and off the ice,” Andrehoff noted. “He wasn’t just a guy who worked hard on the ice. You’d see him in the gym after practice. That rubs off on you, and you learn [from] those guys.”

Andreoff was one of several Monarchs players who were recalled by the Kings during their playoff run, all the way to the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise.

“It was unbelievable, watching the crowd in a sold-out [arena], every game,” he said. “It was pretty crazy. It really makes you want to be there, more than anything, just seeing the crowd, and the guys playing that hard. It’s the way they won, too, beating Vancouver, who was the top seed. It was awesome.”

Although the young prospects were no longer with the Kings after the Western Conference Finals, Andreoff was glued to the television, watching the Stanley Cup Final.

“I was very happy for them [when the Kings won the Stanley Cup],” said Andreoff. “Watching them throughout the playoffs, they worked so hard. It was the way they played, and they proved [themselves] to everyone who was doubting them.”

“That stood out in my mind, seeing them do that, no matter how many people thought they weren’t going to win,” added Andreoff. “They still battled through everything. No matter how good any [opponent] was, they still worked hard.”

Like all the other young prospects in the Kings’ system, Andreoff now plays for an organization that is the defending Stanley Cup Champion, one that has developed a winning culture.

If that brings any more pressure to bear on the young prospects, in terms of their development, Andreoff is not showing any effects.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing—working hard over the summer, doing what they want me to do—the little things that help me as a player,” he emphasized. “That’ll help me become an LA King someday.”

2012 Development Camp Schedule (all times Pacific Daylight)

Saturday, July 7
Defensemen/Goalies – 8:00 AM; Forwards – 9:40 AM; Both Groups – 3:15 PM

Sunday, July 8
Forwards – 8:00 AM; Defensemen/Goalies – 9:40 AM; Both Groups – 3:15 PM

Monday, July 9
Defensemen/Goalies – 8:00 AM; Forwards – 9:40 AM; Both Groups – 3:15 PM

Tuesday, July 10
Forwards – 8:00 AM; Defensemen/Goalies – 9:40 AM; Both Groups – 3:15 PM

You can download a printable copy of the camp roster here.

Frozen Royalty’s Andy Andreoff Coverage

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