What You Probably Don’t Know About Kevin Gravel’s Rise On LA Kings Depth Chart

PROSPECT WATCH: Frozen Royalty begins its off-season coverage of the Los Angeles Kings up-and-coming prospects with a look at the backstory that you probably haven’t heard about regarding defenseman Kevin Gravel’s development and ascent through the ranks of the Kings’ system. Features exclusive comments from Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti.


Ontario Reign defenseman Kevin Gravel
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — This past season, Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Kevin Gravel played for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign, where he showed that he just might have what it takes to be a National Hockey League-caliber defenseman.

In 55 regular season games with the Reign, the 24-year-old, 6-4, 199-pound native of Kingsford, Michigan scored seven goals and added 13 assists for 20 points, with a +4 plus/minus rating and 30 penalty minutes in 55 games.

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Dustin Brown Deserved Much Better From LA Kings

LA Kings forward Dustin Brown, shown here during a November 2015 practice at the
Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — Although the decline in his level of play has been rather glaring, even before he helped lead the Los Angeles Kings to their first Stanley Cup Championship in 2012, right wing and now former captain Dustin Brown deserved better treatment than he has received this summer since news leaked that he was no longer captain.

On May 27, TSN’s Frank Seravalli first reported on Twitter that Brown would no longer be captain. But there was no confirmation from the Kings, not even a comment, until June 17, when they named center Anze Kopitar as their new captain.

Brown broke his silence on June 30, and during a very candid, often blunt, media conference call, among the things that became clear was that the Kings bungled the whole situation.

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LA Kings Draft Hits, Misses and Comic “Relief”

2016 NHL DRAFT: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2016 National Hockey League Draft continues with a look at some of the Kings’ hits and misses in recent drafts, and one hilarious draft story.


LOS ANGELES — One look at the Los Angeles Kings’ record of drafting and developing their young prospects will show that they’ve been very, very good at it since Dean Lombardi took over as President/General Manager in April 2006.

Indeed, 18 players selected in the draft by Lombardi and his staff between 2006 and 2012 have made an impact in the National Hockey League, with ten contributing to the Kings winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and/or 2014, and more are likely coming from subsequent drafts. Given Lombardi’s stated goal of selecting at least two players who would be able to play in the NHL in each draft, his amateur scouts and development staff have achieved a remarkable record of success.

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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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Changing Of The Guard: LA Kings Name Anze Kopitar As New Captain

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — On June 17, the Los Angeles Kings made official what had been mostly a foregone conclusion for a few weeks…that right wing Dustin Brown was captain no more.

Indeed, the Kings announced a changing of the guard, with center Anze Kopitar being named their new captain.

Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi told the media during a conference call that the reasons for the change were two-fold. But he stressed that the primary reason was that it’s time to expand the horizons of other players and allow them further growth.

“There’s a number of things that go into this,” said Lombardi. “Number one, being a captain, there’s no doubt that you’re not only responsible for your own game, but 23 other players. That is an enormous responsibility. That’s an enormous amount of work to be responsible for twenty people. The second part of this—you know how I feel about culture and chemistry and the things that don’t necessarily show up on a chart, or anything of that nature. My feeling on this is that, at some point, there has to be an evolution in the growth of some of your other players, the players who have come through the system. It’s essentially their turn.”

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