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Alex Iafallo Seems To Be A Shoo-In To Make LA Kings Opening Night Roster

Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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LOS ANGELES — As reported in this space on September 10, Los Angeles Kings forward Alex Iafallo was a young player who the Kings had their eyes for much of his college career.

“He’s a special kid, and since he signed with us, we’ve felt he was a kid who gives us another swing in the skill and speed area,” said assistant general manager Michael Futa. “He had a great college career, and he presented himself so well to [Director of Amateur Scouting] Mark Yanetti, [amateur scout] Tony Gasperini and [amateur scout] Teddy Belisle throughout [last season]. They were all over us about this being a guy who we had to go after.”

“He was strictly an undrafted kid who had an incredible college career,” added Futa. “He gave himself the opportunity to pick his landing spot. Our crew did an incredible job of just being honest with him about, not only what we do, development-wise, but also the opportunity that’s here for him, with his speed and skill.”

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LA Kings Still Looking For Consistency, Improvement on Defense from Adrian Kempe

Los Angeles Kings forward Adrian Kempe
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last season, Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Adrian Kempe had an up-and-down start with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, both offensively and defensively. But as season wore on, he gradually improved, earning himself a late-season call-up to the Kings.

“I think I started off not as good as I wanted to,” he said. “I played well, but I didn’t produce. I didn’t score the goals that I wanted to. I was getting chances, but I was unlucky, in the beginning. After the first 15-20 games, I started to play better. I put up some points and had good run through Christmas.”

Although he didn’t come in and light the National Hockey League on fire, by any means, the 21-year-old, 6-2, 195-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden was essentially in a 25-game training and development stint with the Kings at the end of last season.

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Kurtis MacDermid’s Time With The LA Kings Might Be Starting Now

Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Kurtis MacDermid
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — After their 3-2 pre-season overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 26, the Los Angeles Kings were expected to make a slew of training camp roster cuts the following day.

As it turned out, 26 players left training camp. 23 were assigned directly to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League or just for their training camp. Two were assigned to their junior teams in Canada, while forward Andrei Loktionov was released from his professional tryout agreement.

What might be a surprise to some, but really shouldn’t be, is that defenseman Kurtis MacDermid remains on the big club’s roster, and at least for now, looks he he has an excellent chance of being on the Kings opening night roster.

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Is LA Kings RW Prospect Matt Luff Ready To Make The Jump To Pro Hockey?

Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Matt Luff
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although he could wind up back in the Ontario Hockey League this season, it seems likely that Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Matt Luff will make the jump to professional hockey this season.

The 20-year-old, 6-2, 192-pound native of Oakville, Ontario has been turning the right heads among the Kings coaching and hockey operations staff. Although no decisions have been made yet, Luff has an excellent chance of starting the new season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

“He’s been really good,” said Reign head coach Mike Stothers. “He finds the soft spots in the offensive zone. He’s got a good, heavy, hard shot. He’s also pretty intelligent. We’ve been going through things off the ice, presenting some things from systems—you can ask him after practice, ‘what did we talk about before we went on the ice,’ and he can rattle everything off. Some kids are like, ‘I don’t know.’ That means he’s a student of the game. That’s only going to help him.”

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Will Speed, Skating Continue to Block Michael Mersch’s Rise To The NHL?

Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch (foreground)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
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EL SEGUNDO, CA — At 24 years of age and having played three full seasons in the Los Angeles Kings organization, left wing Michael Mersch could be at a crossroads, in terms of his future with the Kings.

Indeed, the 6-2, 213-pound native of Park Ridge, Illinois, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, is in a bit of a tenuous position due to the fact that if the Kings want to assign him to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, he must clear waivers. If another NHL team claims him, the Kings would lose him for nothing.

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