Pearson, Toffoli, And Vey Are Still Dealing With The Sting Of Not Making LA Kings Roster

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Los Angeles Kings top forward prospects Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, and Linden Vey made it all the way to the final cuts from the Kings’ 2013 Training Camp before being assigned to the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. Like all young prospects who are that close to making it to the National Hockey League, they are now dealing with the disappointment of not making the big club’s roster. How is that affecting their play? Exclusive interviews with each player, along with Monarchs head coach Mark Morris, should tell you all you need to know!

Los Angeles Kings prospect Tyler Toffoli, shown here
during the team’s 2013 Training Camp.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/

LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Kings opened their 2013 Training Camp, a widely held belief was that right wing Tyler Toffoli would be a shoo-in to make the Kings’ opening night roster.

As training camp wore on, there was also some thought that left wing Tanner Pearson and center Linden Vey might also have a chance to make the Kings’ roster, given their strong showings in camp, and in pre-season games.

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Tanner Pearson Is An Early Standout At LA Kings 2013 Training Camp

Los Angeles Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Last April, as the Los Angeles Kings were preparing for another deep run into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi took a few moments to look into the future, specifically, at one of his up-and-coming charges, 21-year-old left wing Tanner Pearson, who was selected by the Kings in the first round (30th overall) in the 2012 National Hockey League Draft.

“The kid we got has really done well, so we actually lucked out there,” said Lombardi. “To get Pearson with the 30th pick, he’s got a good chance.”

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Passed Up Twice On Draft Day, LA Kings Prospect Tanner Pearson Reaches NHL Ice Faster Than Expected

VIDEO: Includes exclusive video of the May 19 media interview with Tanner Pearson.

LA Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After watching young left wing prospect Tanner Pearson make his National Hockey League debut on May 18 against the San Jose Sharks in a second round playoff game is quite the surprise. After all, it was not all that long ago that his future in hockey was rather murky, and that’s putting it mildly.

Indeed, even though he became eligible for the NHL Draft in 2010, he went undrafted for two years before the Los Angeles Kings selected him in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

In fact, Pearson’s career in Canadian junior hockey did not have an auspicious start, as the vast majority of legitimate NHL prospects coming out of Canada go right to major junior hockey at 16 years of age. Although Pearson was selected by the Barrie Colts in the 2008 Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft, the fourth round (266th overall) selection saw the writing on the wall.

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Dean Lombardi Says LA Kings Have “Lucked Out” With 2012 First Round Draft Pick Tanner Pearson

Left/right wing prospect Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first
round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — This past summer, the Los Angeles Kings had the misfortune of selecting last in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Draft.

Of course, selecting last in the first round is the “privilege” that every Stanley Cup Champion earns for upcoming draft, and as you probably surmised, the Kings were not complaining after they won the first Stanley Cup Championship in the 45-year history of the franchise on June 11, 2012.

Most pundits would tell you that, more often than not, the draft is a huge crap shoot after the first handful of picks, and no one expected the Kings to get an impact player with the 30th overall selection.

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LA Kings Forward Prospect Linden Vey Is On The Right Side of the Puck In Second Season With Manchester Monarchs

Forward prospect Linden Vey, shown here during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/

LOS ANGELES — Scoring 28 goals with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League this season, right wing prospect Tyler Toffoli was so good in the AHL, that he was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team on April 10, and as the Outstanding Rookie on April 12.

Even more impressive is that Toffoli was so good that he received those accolades even though he has been with the National Hockey League’s Los Angeles Kings since March 10.

With the Monarchs, Toffoli played on a line with fellow Kings prospects, forwards Linden Vey and Tanner Pearson, and they scorched the rest of the AHL.

“It was just something where I think we’re all smart players, skilled players, and [each of us] brings something different to the line,” said Vey, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (96th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. “We kind of complement each other, and for the time Toffoli was here, we just went on a run.”

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