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Two Dreams Fulfilled, More To Come For LA Kings C Michael Amadio

Los Angeles Kings center prospect Michael Amadio
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Less than three minutes into his game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on November 2, Los Angeles Kings center prospect Michael Amadio had another dream come true.

The first dream was making it to the National Hockey League. He made his NHL debut on October 26, in one of hockey’s meccas, Montreal.

“I thought Montreal was just a dream come true for my first NHL game,” said the 21-year-old, 6-1, 204-pound native of Sault, Ste. Marie, Ontario. “It was pretty special, with all that rich history there. It was great to be a part of.”

“Going out for warm-ups, and then, my first and second shifts, I was a little nervous,” added Amadio. “After that, I settled down a bit.”

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LA Kings: Is The Adrian Kempe We’re Seeing Now For Real?

Los Angeles Kings forward Adrian Kempe (foreground)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although we’re just one month into the 2017-18 National Hockey League season—it’s still early—young forward Adrian Kempe has gone from a player who did not often display good hockey sense, nor did he earn a whole lot of trust from his coaches, especially on the defensive side of the puck.

During the Los Angeles Kings 2017 training camp, on September 28, head coach John Stevens indicated that although Kempe had skill and speed, more was needed from him on defense.

“We got him up here last year, and we liked some of the things he could do,” he said. “We certainly like the skill set and speed he brought to the lineup. We think he can be a responsible player, and he has the ability to play wing and center. We’d like to see his defensive game continue to improve. It’s not that he can’t do it. We just want to see it on a more consistent level.”

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Lest We Forget: Justin Auger Was Solid In His NHL/LA Kings Debut

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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last Wednesday, when the Los Angeles Kings handed the Montreal Canadiens a 5-1 loss, the stars of the show were forwards Adrian Kempe, who recorded the first hat trick of his National Hockey League career, and Michael Cammalleri, who scored two goals and added two assists for four points after being a healthy scratch in the team’s previous two outings.

To be sure, Kempe and Cammalleri were surrounded by a throne of reporters after the game, and they were pretty much all reporters asked head coach John Stevens about during his post-game press conference.

Completely lost in the excitement was the fact that yet another young player, right wing Justin Auger, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (123rd overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, became the fourth this season to make his NHL debut with the Kings.

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What’s Fueling The Flying Start By LA Kings Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown?

Los Angeles Kings center and captain Anze Kopitar
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings are only three games into the 2017-18 National Hockey League season, but with Anze Kopitar scoring three goals and adding three assists for six points, with a +6 plus/minus rating in those games, he is already way ahead of the curve.

Indeed, last season, although the entire team struggled, Kopitar scored just twelve goals. He didn’t score his third goal of the 2016-17 season until December 13, 2016, against the Buffalo Sabres (a 6-3 loss), 23 games into the season.

“I’m happy with my start, and the way things are going right now, but not a whole lot has changed,” said Kopitar. “I had a good off-season. I feel good, and there’s definitely one of those [luck] things going, where you see a couple go in, especially [my] second one in San Jose [a 4-1 win on October 7], when it bounces off the guy’s stick and goes in. That makes you feel good, feel the puck a little bit better, and see the ice a little bit better. You just try to ride the wave as long as you can.”

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LA Kings D Jake Muzzin’s Got Something Good Cooking in The Early Going

Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin (right), shown here with forward
Trevor Lewis,during a recent practice session.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last season, a lot went wrong for the Los Angeles Kings, who failed to make the playoffs, resulting in President/General Manager Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter being relieved of their duties last April.

Defenseman Jake Muzzin certainly wasn’t alone among players who struggled last season—there was plenty of that to go around. But his struggles were among the most notable, and his -21 plus/minus rating, the worst on the team, didn’t help his cause.

Much has been made about his commitment this past summer to his strength and conditioning work, along with evaluating his poor season, and looking at what he needed to do, or not do, as the case may be, to improve for this season.

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