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LA Kings D Prospect Paul LaDue Is Still Turning Heads With AHL Ontario Reign

LA Kings Defenseman prospect Paul LaDue (left), shown here during a
game against the Charlotte Checkers at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California on December 3, 2016.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — When Frozen Royalty last checked in with Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Paul LaDue, he was busy turning a lot of heads at their training camp last October. In fact, he made such a strong impression that there was a little talk about him making the Kings opening night roster straight out of the University of North Dakota.

But this time, where there was smoke, there was no fire. The Kings assigned LaDue to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League to start the 2016-17 season, and so far, the 24-year-old, 6-1, 186-pound native of Grand Forks, North Dakota has played in 32 games, scoring four goals and adding twelve assists for 16 points, with a even plus/minus rating and 18 penalty minutes.

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LA Kings’ Top Prospect Adrian Kempe Is Struggling To Improve

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Adrian Kempe is struggling in the first two months of the 2016-17 season with
the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography


ONTARIO, CA — Looking back at the Los Angeles Kings 2016 Training Camp, highly touted forward prospect Adrian Kempe showed off the speed and raw skill that has the Kings so high on him, not to mention fans clamoring for him to be called up to the big club.

Kempe, 20, was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft. He was a big factor in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs with the Manchester Monarchs, then a part of the American Hockey League, scoring eight goals and adding one assist for nine points in 17 playoff games, helping lead the Monarchs to the Calder Cup Championship.

The 6-2, 202-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden, played his first full season in North America with the AHL’s Ontario Reign last year, scoring 11 goals and adding 17 assists for 28 points, with a -1 plus/minus rating in 55 regular season games.

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What Went Wrong For LA Kings G Prospect Jack Campbell Since 2010 NHL Draft?

Embed from Getty Images]

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back in June 2010, the hottest goaltending prospect was Jack Campbell, who played in major junior hockey in Canada and in the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP).

Campbell ended up being selected by the Dallas Stars in the first round (11th overall) in that draft, held at Staples Center in Los Angeles—he was the Stars’ goaltender of the future.

But almost immediately, things began to go south for the 6-2, 197-pound native of Port Huron, Michigan. Indeed, since he was drafted, Campbell was hot and cold with the Texas Stars of the American Hockey League. He even bounced back and forth between the Texas Stars and the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

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Adrian Kempe Is Getting A Long, Hard Look At Center During LA Kings Training Camp

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Adrian Kempe, shown here
during their 2016 Training Camp at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After spending the vast majority of the 2015-16 season on left wing with the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign, Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Adrian Kempe is playing center in the Kings’ 2016 Training Camp, which has been more than a bit of an adjustment for him.

“Until I was 15, I played center my whole life,” he said. “Then, mostly the wing. Last year, I played 15-20 games at center.”

“I’m playing center right now, so it’s tough,” he added. “I played left wing almost all last year, so it’s been tough to play in the middle. But I’ve felt more and more comfortable after each game. I got better and better in the defensive zone, and better in terms of puck possession, too.”

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Simplicity Is Key For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Derek Forbort

LA Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft was a deep one, with a vast majority of the first round picks making to the NHL to stay.

But the same cannot be said for the 15th overall pick in that draft, Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Derek Forbort, who played 14 games with the Kings last season, but was a healthy scratch more often that not.

Back in June 2010, with the draft held at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi referred to Forbort as a “project.”

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