LA Kings RW Prospect Justin Auger Could Be A Future 3rd Line Upgrade

Ontario Reign right wing and Los Angeles Kings prospect Justin Auger, shown here in Game 1 of the second round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs against the San Diego Gulls at Citizens Business Bank Arena on May 5, 2016
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — At 6-7, 229 pounds, Justin Auger is not the kind of player who one would, at first blush, think of as anything more than a checking forward. But the 22-year-old native of Kitchener, Ontario already has a Calder Cup Championship (2014-15 season with the American Hockey League’s Manchester Monarchs, now the Kings’ ECHL affiliate) and a 19-goal campaign with the AHL’s Ontario Reign last season.

19 goals for a checking forward? As it turns out, the development of the Kings’ fourth round pick (103rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft has been, in a word, remarkable.

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LA Kings RW Prospect Jonny Brodzinski “Scores Goals That Other People Can’t”

Ontario Reign right wing and Los Angeles Kings prospect Jonny Brodzinski
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — For Los Angeles Kings right wing prospect Jonny Brodzinski, a season that began with frustration ended with more of the same.

Brodzinski, who was selected by the Kings in the fifth round, 148th overall, of the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, suffered a fractured thumb after blocking a shot during the first period of Game 4 of the second round of the 2016 Calder Cup Playoffs, when the Ontario Reign (Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate) skated against the San Jose Barracuda. Brodzinski blocked a shot and suffered a fractured thumb in the process, ending his season in somewhat similar fashion to the way it began, when he couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.

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Nic Dowd Looks Like A Lock To Make LA Kings Roster in 2016-17

Ontario Reign center and Los Angeles Kings prospect Nic Dowd
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Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — Looking ahead to the 2016-17 National Hockey League season, the Los Angeles Kings are going to look quite different after a more than disappointing and unceremonious end to their 2015-16 season when they were soundly beaten in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, who dispatched them in just five games.

The Kings have open roster spots heading into the new season, and one young prospect who is likely to make the big club’s opening night roster is 26-year-old center Nic Dowd, who has played for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate the last two seasons.

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What You Probably Don’t Know About Kevin Gravel’s Rise On LA Kings Depth Chart

PROSPECT WATCH: Frozen Royalty begins its off-season coverage of the Los Angeles Kings up-and-coming prospects with a look at the backstory that you probably haven’t heard about regarding defenseman Kevin Gravel’s development and ascent through the ranks of the Kings’ system. Features exclusive comments from Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti.


Ontario Reign defenseman Kevin Gravel
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — This past season, Los Angeles Kings defenseman prospect Kevin Gravel played for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign, where he showed that he just might have what it takes to be a National Hockey League-caliber defenseman.

In 55 regular season games with the Reign, the 24-year-old, 6-4, 199-pound native of Kingsford, Michigan scored seven goals and added 13 assists for 20 points, with a +4 plus/minus rating and 30 penalty minutes in 55 games.

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LA Kings Are Doing Things Differently Now At Their Development Camp

LA Kings Director of Player Development Nelson Emerson
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Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the first week of July coming to a close, a lot of National Hockey League Teams are wrapping up their 2016 development camps for their young prospects, while others will start their camps this weekend.

NHL team development camps started nine years ago, with teams running a handful of drills and lots of scrimmages. In fact, NHL development camps were often used as marketing ploys to keep fans tuned in during the off-season and to attract new fans. In fact, many teams turned them into summer spectacles, going so far as to promote the scrimmages quite heavily and even sell tickets to the hyped up practice games—some teams still do this.

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