LOS ANGELES — During the third day of the week-long Los Angeles Kings 2021 Development Camp, 18-year-old center prospect Francesco Pinelli, who was selected by the Kings in the second round (42nd overall) of the 2021 National Hockey League Draft, talked about his first experience in professional hockey this week.
“I feel great,” he said. “The practices they run and the program they have us on is incredible. I like how these three days have unfolded and it’s continued to get better and better.”
“We do battle drills, we battle along the walls, picking up [loose] pucks, scoring,” he added. “In every practice, there’s a new thing to focus on.”
“Meeting all the staff, the players, and the prospects—the facility is unbelievable, so everything around me is top-notch and professional. I couldn’t be happier with where I landed. It’s been a great three days, so far.”
Last season, with the Ontario Hockey League shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pinelli played for Jeneice in Slovenia.
“Going to Slovenia helped me, playing against the older guys,” he said. “It was a pretty good league, so it kind of transitioned pretty nicely into the development camp [skating against older players].”
Noting that his biggest challenge for his development is building strength and improving his speed, Pinelli indicated that he has been busy training over the last month since the draft back in June.
“I have to work on all parts of my game, making sure that I can be the best player that I can be, and continue to grow and get better,” he said. “Ever since I was drafted, I’ve been training, trying to keep in shape, and getting better every day. Coming down here to L.A., starting with the development camp, it’s been a really good experience, so far. I can’t wait for the next few days.”
“It starts in the gym,” he added. “Speed, strength, all that kind of stuff, plays a huge role in today’s game. To get to the next level, you’ve got to continue to work on all of those things, and even the little details.”
Media Interview with Francesco Pinelli
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