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Jonny Brodzinski Hopes “Kick In The Butt” Launches His NHL Career With LA Kings

Los Angeles Kings forward prospect Jonny Brodzinski
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net
(click above to view larger image)

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Now that scoring his first National Hockey League goal is behind him, forward prospect Jonny Brodzinski is hopeful that he will soon be able to shed that “prospect” label in short order and remain with the Los Angeles Kings.

Indeed, on November 18, during a 4-0 win over the Florida Panthers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Brodzinski scored at 2:23 of the second period, giving the Kings a 2-0 lead on a gorgeous backhand from the slot that beat Panthers goaltender James Reimer top shelf, glove side.

“That’s not how I expected my first one to go in, but I’ll take it,” said the 24-year-old, 6-1, 217-pound native of Ham Lake, Minnesota. “I’ve been imagining it for quite some time. I just thought it was always going to be a forehand shot, but I brought it to the backhand.”

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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
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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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Is LA Kings RW Prospect Matt Luff Ready To Make The Jump To Pro Hockey?

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

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Although he could wind up back in the Ontario Hockey League this season, it seems likely that Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Matt Luff will make the jump to professional hockey this season.

The 20-year-old, 6-2, 192-pound native of Oakville, Ontario has been turning the right heads among the Kings coaching and hockey operations staff. Although no decisions have been made yet, Luff has an excellent chance of starting the new season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League.

“He’s been really good,” said Reign head coach Mike Stothers. “He finds the soft spots in the offensive zone. He’s got a good, heavy, hard shot. He’s also pretty intelligent. We’ve been going through things off the ice, presenting some things from systems—you can ask him after practice, ‘what did we talk about before we went on the ice,’ and he can rattle everything off. Some kids are like, ‘I don’t know.’ That means he’s a student of the game. That’s only going to help him.”

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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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LA Kings Prospect Jonny Brodzinski: “I Feel Like It’s My Turn Now”

Los Angeles Kings center prospect Jonny Brodzinski, shown here playing for the AHL’s Ontario Reign
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — After a strong 2015-16 season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, not to mention a six-game call-up to the Los Angeles Kings at the end of the season, center prospect Jonny Brodzinski is expected to make the big club’s roster out of training camp once the new season begins in October.

During his first year in professional hockey with the Reign in the 2014-15 season, Brodzinski struggled early, but came on strong as the season wore on.

“I thought he had a great [2015-16 season],” said Kings assistant general manager Michael Futa. “I thought, the year prior, that it was incredible how much he was missed when he [was knocked out of the lineup due to an injury during the Reign’s playoff run]. For a first-year pro, it’s a testimony to how far he had come.”

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