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LA Kings D Prospect Kurtis MacDermid Wants To Be More Than An Enforcer

LA Kings defenseman prospect Kurtis MacDermid (right), shown here during the 2015 Rookie Tournament against
the Arizona Coyotes at the Toyota Sports Center
in El Segundo, California, September 15, 2015.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ONTARIO, CA — Even though the stereotype of hockey being nothing more than players fighting is still fairly strong among those who are unfamiliar with the game, those who follow it know that the frequency of fisticuffs in games has been on the decline for years and years. In fact, one can go weeks of watching games and never see a single fight.

Years ago, teams had a roster spot for an enforcer, a player whose only real talent was dropping the gloves and trying to clobber the other team’s enforcer. But today, National Hockey League teams cannot afford to reserve a roster spot for a one-dimensional player whose only skill is fighting. Indeed, today’s “enforcer,” if you can call the player that anymore, must be able to play the game.

Enter Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Kurtis MacDermid, who is now in his first professional season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

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LA Kings D Prospect Nick Ebert Hopes To Solidify Spot With Ontario Reign

LA Kings defenseman prospect Nick Ebert
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the Ontario Reign’s inaugural training camp now underway, as they look ahead, there has been little talk about what their players achieved last season, when, as the Manchester Monarchs, they won the 2015 Calder Cup Championship.

Indeed, the focus has, as it has usually been, on developing young players for playing in the National Hockey League for their parent club, the Los Angeles Kings, and that was no different for Reign defenseman Nick Ebert, who was selected by the Kings in the seventh round (211th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

Last season, his first at the professional level, was a bit of a mixed bag, seeing him score eight goals and add six assists for 14 points, with a +13 plus/minus rating and 18 penalty minutes in 45 regular season games.

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LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Just Missed Being a 7th Round Pick In 2011

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Did you know that, if not for one, critical decision back in 2011, Los Angeles Kings rookie sensation Tanner Pearson could easily still be toiling away in the minor leagues, getting limited ice time (and limited development) on the third or fourth line with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and that he, and the Kings, might not have won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship because of that? Indeed, that was very nearly the case. Part 1 of a two-part series.


LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here celebrating the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship with his family on the ice at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Los Angeles Kings’ remarkable 26-game run through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, culminating in their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, rookie left wing Tanner Pearson seemed to come out of nowhere, scoring four goals and contributing eight assists for twelve points, while playing on a line with right wing Tyler Toffoli and center Jeff Carter to make up what became known as the “That 70’s Line.”

That line gave the Kings a whole new look up front, and, in particular, gave the Chicago Blackhawks fits during the 2014 Western Conference Final—they had no answer for them.

For his part, Pearson used speed that had not been seen from him prior to the post-season to get to loose pucks and set up his line mates time and time again. In the end, the result was becoming a Stanley Cup Champion at the age of 21, and in just his first season in the National Hockey League.

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Adding Strength Is The Priority For LA Kings Defenseman Prospect Zach Leslie

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 2013 sixth round selection Zach Leslie. An audio interview with Leslie is also included.


Defenseman prospect Zach Leslie, was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.met

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Back in June 2013, defenseman Zachary (Zach) Leslie was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft and about one week later, he found himself on the ice at the team’s 2013 Development Camp, facing several of the Kings’ older prospects, many of whom had experience at the American Hockey League level.

Going up against players with a lot more experience was quite the challenge.

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Polished Off The Ice, LA Kings’ Defenseman Prospect Roland McKeown Is Working To Be Equally Polished On It

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 2014 second round selection Roland McKeown. An audio interview with McKeown is also included.


Los Angeles Kings 2014 second round pick defenseman Roland McKeown
during the team’s 2014 Development Camp on July 8, 2014,
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The first thing that strikes you about defenseman Roland McKeown, who was selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the second round (50th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft, is that with his dashing good looks and his articulate, polished way of handling media interviews, he should be able to land a television broadcasting job without much effort after his playing days are over.

But his more immediate concern is making it to NHL ice as soon as possible and one step towards that end was participating in the Kings’ 2014 Development Camp, July 7-11.

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