“Simpler” And “Smarter” Will Be Keywords For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Colin Miller in 2014-15

LA KINGS PROSPECT WATCH: Throughout the summer, Frozen Royalty will be taking a look at several of the Los Angeles Kings’ young prospects. In this installment, the focus is on 2012 fifth round pick, defenseman Colin Miller. An audio interview with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake is also included.

Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Colin Miller, shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

LOS ANGELES — In today’s National Hockey League, and especially for teams that stress defense, like the Los Angeles Kings, young players coming out of major junior hockey in Canada, or the collegiate ranks, are often rather deficient on the defensive side of the puck. After all, at lower levels, players get away with a lot more, in terms of taking shortcuts or playing a risky style.

But once these young players advance to the professional ranks, they often receive a rude awakening.

Although that may not apply to Colin Miller, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round (151st overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft, the 6-1, 201-pound offensive defenseman still has a lot to learn about playing on the defensive side of the puck.

“He came out of junior where [players] get away with a lot of stuff [on the ice],” said Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake, who also serves as general manager for the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. “He can push the pace, he can jump [into the play]—he could do a lot of things that he might not get away with at the pro level.”

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Sluggish Start By Los Angeles Kings Was All Too Predictable

LA Kings left wing Dustin Penner (right), shown here with goaltender
Jonathan Quick (left), during a recent practice session.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Following the Los Angeles Kings’ third period collapse, resulting in a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on January 22, based on the reaction across the World Wide Web, one would think the sky is falling, Dustin Penner is back to being the worst player in the history of the game, and the Kings are doomed.

Of course, in an abbreviated season, every game counts that much more, and there is almost no time for a team to catch up if they dig themselves into a hole early in the season.

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LA Kings Training Camp Update: Kopitar Ahead Of Schedule?

TRAINING CAMP: Los Angeles Kings star center Anze Kopitar looks awfully good in practice. What are the chances of him returning to the lineup in time for Saturday’s season opener? That and more, including comments from Jake Muzzin and Darryl Sutter, can be found here. Raw audio interviews also available.

Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar appears be ahead of schedule in his recovery from an MCL sprain. Could he be back in the lineup for
the season opener on January 19, 2013?
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Just two days away from raising the Stanley Cup banner against the Chicago Blackhawks in their season opener on January 19 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, injured center Anze Kopitar was skating hard in a full practice with no visible difficulty.

“I’m feeling pretty good,” said Kopitar, who suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee during his last game with Mora IK (Sweden). “I’ve had a couple of days of full practice with the team. It didn’t blow up on me, and it didn’t feel sore, so I guess I’m on the right track.”

“It’s a little uncomfortable because of my brace, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it, pretty much forgetting that I wear it,” added Kopitar. “Soreness or pain? There’s nothing there.”

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