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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 Assistant GM Michael Futa On Alex Iafallo: “He Gives Us Another Swing in the Skill and Speed Area”

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Alex Iafallo (foreground center)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since they signed him as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017, the Los Angeles Kings have been talking up Alex Iafallo, a prospect who could help them in the skill and speed departments.

The 23-year-old, 6-0 (he is closer to 5-10 or 5-11), 185-pound native of Eden, New York, played four seasons with the University of Minnesota, Duluth, leading them to the NCAA’s Frozen Four last season, where the Bulldogs lost in the championship game to Denver University, 3-2, on April 8.

Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa noted that Iafallo was among a select few that the Kings had targeted among college prospects.

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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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LA Kings’ Top Prospect Adrian Kempe Is Struggling To Improve

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Adrian Kempe is struggling in the first two months of the 2016-17 season with
the American Hockey League’s Ontario Reign.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography


ONTARIO, CA — Looking back at the Los Angeles Kings 2016 Training Camp, highly touted forward prospect Adrian Kempe showed off the speed and raw skill that has the Kings so high on him, not to mention fans clamoring for him to be called up to the big club.

Kempe, 20, was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft. He was a big factor in the 2015 Calder Cup Playoffs with the Manchester Monarchs, then a part of the American Hockey League, scoring eight goals and adding one assist for nine points in 17 playoff games, helping lead the Monarchs to the Calder Cup Championship.

The 6-2, 202-pound native of Kramfors, Sweden, played his first full season in North America with the AHL’s Ontario Reign last year, scoring 11 goals and adding 17 assists for 28 points, with a -1 plus/minus rating in 55 regular season games.

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