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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
(click above to view larger image)

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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Better Late Than Never For LA Kings RW Prospect Spencer Watson

Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Spencer Watson (right)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — A year delayed, Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Spencer Watson is on the verge of making his professional hockey debut this season.

The 21-year-old, 5-10, 178-pound native of London, Ontario was playing in what was supposed to be his final season with the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League in 2015-16 when he suffered a wrist injury that required surgery.

“Last year was unfortunate because he needed last summer to get stronger in order to play in the American Hockey League [in 2016-17],” said Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa. “But with his injury—he had the surgery, so he really wasn’t able to train. By the time he was healed and healthy, it made no sense for us to start his pro career, so he ended going back to junior for [an over-age year], and he had a great playoff run with Mississauga. They went to the [Ontario Hockey League] finals.”

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LA Kings Prospect Jonny Brodzinski: “I Feel Like It’s My Turn Now”

Los Angeles Kings center prospect Jonny Brodzinski, shown here playing for the AHL’s Ontario Reign
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — After a strong 2015-16 season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, not to mention a six-game call-up to the Los Angeles Kings at the end of the season, center prospect Jonny Brodzinski is expected to make the big club’s roster out of training camp once the new season begins in October.

During his first year in professional hockey with the Reign in the 2014-15 season, Brodzinski struggled early, but came on strong as the season wore on.

“I thought he had a great [2015-16 season],” said Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa. “I thought, the year prior, that it was incredible how much he was missed when he [was knocked out of the lineup due to an injury during the Reign’s playoff run]. For a first-year pro, it’s a testimony to how far he had come.”

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Michael Amadio Faces Higher Expectations Heading Into LA Kings Training Camp

Ontario Reign center and Los Angeles Kings prospect Michael Amadio, shown here in Game 4 of the second round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs against the San Diego Gulls at Valley View Casino Center on May 13, 2016
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Vince Rappleyea/Courtesy Ontario Reign

LOS ANGELES — It’s not all that often that a skilled player comes out of major junior hockey in Canada who is better on defense than he is on the offensive side of the puck. But in the case of Los Angeles Kings center prospect Michael Amadio, at this point in his development, that seems to be the case.

As reported in this space in August 2016, the 21-year-old, 6-2, 205-pound native of Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario was well-prepared on the defensive side of the puck by his coach with the Brampton Battalion, and after the team moved, the North Bay Battalion, of the Ontario Hockey League.

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Checking In On Another LA Kings Goaltender Resurrection Project

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jack Campbell, shown here playing
for the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Dinur Blum

ONTARIO, CA — When Frozen Royalty last looked in on Los Angeles Kings goaltender prospect Jack Campbell, he had been recalled by the team on October 22, 2016, for a short time early this season.

Six months later, the 25-year-old, 6-2, 197-pound native of Port Huron, Michigan is backstopping the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign in the first round of the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, with Game 4 against the San Diego Gulls to be played tonight at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, with the Reign trailing in the best-of-five series, 2-1.

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