LA Kings Looking To Re-Discover Innovation, Creativity In Amateur Scouting, Drafting

2016 NHL DRAFT: Frozen Royalty continues its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2016 National Hockey League Draft with a look at how changes the Kings are making across their hockey operations—that re-tooling that President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talked about in early May—and how they have affected amateur scouting and the draft.


LOS ANGELES — About two weeks after the Los Angeles Kings were eliminated from the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in just five games—they were mostly dominated by the San Jose Sharks—President/General Manager Dean Lombardi spoke to the media and talked about significant changes, both in actions and in thinking, that were in the works.

Lombardi also said that the team would not be rebuilding, but added that some re-tooling was in order and that was not restricted to the current players. He also mentioned that the first group to meet with him was his amateur scouts.

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Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti Talks LA Kings and the 2016 Draft

2016 NHL DRAFT: Frozen Royalty begins its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2016 National Hockey League Draft with exclusive comments from Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti on what the Kings are thinking and looking at in the draft this year.


LOS ANGELES — Heading into the final days before the 2016 National Hockey League Draft on June 24-25, the Los Angeles Kings are in the home stretch of their preparations for what will be a challenging draft for them, one in which, barring any trades in which they may acquire or lose draft picks, they have just four selections and no first round pick.

The Kings sent their first round pick (21st overall) to the Carolina Hurricanes, along with defenseman Roland McKeown, in exchange for defenseman Andrej Sekera on February 25, 2015.

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Ontario Reign’s First Season In AHL Deemed A “Rousing Success” – Part 2

Left wing Adrian Kempe is just one of several LA Kings prospects
developing their skills with the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — As previously reported in Part 1 of this story on June 16, moving their American Hockey League affiliate more than 3,000 miles from Manchester, New Hampshire to Ontario, California was a great success in many ways for the Los Angeles Kings.

But more specifically, about one year later, it is clear that the greatest, most positive impact for them has been how the move west has affected the development of their young prospects—preparing them to become National Hockey League players.

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Ontario Reign’s First Season In AHL Deemed A “Rousing Success” – Part 1

The following is Part 1 of a two-part story on the Ontario Reign’s inaugural season in the American Hockey League, looking at how they did off the ice, and in terms of developing Los Angeles Kings prospects.


Ontario Reign President Darren Abbott
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Ontario Reign

LOS ANGELES — On January 29, 2015, when the American Hockey League announced that five teams would move to California to begin play in a new Pacific Division, the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, was in the midst of an outstanding regular season that would end with them in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

The Monarchs not only went on a deep playoff run, but they went on to win the 2015 Calder Cup Championship.

But the Monarchs’ time to celebrate was rather short, as the team moved to Ontario, California over the summer to become the AHL edition of the Ontario Reign, while the ECHL version of the Reign moved east to become the ECHL Manchester Monarchs.

For all intents and purposes, the Kings swapped their AHL and ECHL affiliates, bringing their AHL affiliate more than 3,000 miles west—virtually into their own backyard, and in their inaugural season in the AHL, the Reign were highly successful despite losing in the Western Conference Final to the eventual Calder Cup Champion Lake Erie Monsters in a four-game sweep.

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LA Kings RW Prospect Scott Sabourin Is Falling Short of Expectations

Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Scott Sabourin, shown here playing for the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography”

ONTARIO AND LOS ANGELES, CA — Back in the late summer of 2013, a big, burly right wing came out of nowhere to turn heads during the Los Angeles Kings’ rookie camp and rookie tournament. In fact, in a rookie game against the then-Phoenix Coyotes, this player, not known for skating, speed or skill, took a breakout pass in stride, split two Coyotes defenders at the far blue line and went in on a breakaway. He didn’t score—his wrist shot barely missed the top left corner of the net. Nevertheless, he left just about everyone in attendance with jaws agape.

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