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HF Article 08-16-2013 07:15 PM

New and old alike shine in Los Angeles Kings Top 20 ranking
 

The Los Angeles Kings did not have much time after a conference finals exit at the hands of the Blackhawks to ready themselves for the 2013 NHL Draft. Nonetheless the Kings managed to pick up several quality players, including what was widely considered the steal of the draft in Valentin Zykov.



Several players from the 2013 draft have already made their way onto the Kings' Top 20 as the late-drafting, boom-or-bust ways of Dean Lombardi continue to look promising. Along with new additions, old standbys continue their dominant form with several on the cusp of NHL futures.

It is a diverse group and one that has plenty of promise moving forward. read more



More...

Telos 08-16-2013 07:26 PM

Nice writeup, I like your list Jason, thanks.

David Strorm 08-16-2013 07:47 PM

Good write up. Not a fan of Auger on here (at all tbh), especially with Jordan Weal missing.

deeshamrock 08-16-2013 07:57 PM

Great article, Jason, with some real insight into the individual elements that make each of these players stand out.

I agree, I think Zykov could be the steal of the draft and the top line winger the Kings will need when he matures a bit more.

I also like the progress Gravel made, and every team should have a guy who is a 6'4 solid defense first player , esp one who made such an impact for his team in a crticial situation in the NCAA tourney. Playing well under pressure is a good resume. I like the tough, smart stay at home D first guys and he sounds like a winner.

I was very glad to see Hyka make the leap to the top 20, he's been a favorite of mine since 2011 when the Flyers invited him to training camp. He played for them in preseason and I thought he was a very fast and very skilled (creative, smart) player, the kind who just knows how to score. I also watched him in the World Juniors and he was very good there as well. Another player the Flyers let go...and the Kings reap the rewards.

This is a pretty goal, nice deke and move, Hyka scored for the Flyers in 2011 in preseason (Nice feed from matt read, my favorite Flyer who is the smartest player on the team, great IQ and hands)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZPCmv36iRM

TwoForRoughing 08-16-2013 08:12 PM

I really like this list, but how is Jordan Weal not a top-20 prospect in our system? He had a highly successful rookie year in Manchester (almost a ppg player from the halfway point on) and seemingly improved in every facet of the game.

Rorschach 08-16-2013 09:09 PM

I think, speculatively, that he is not considered a NHL prospect due to his size. He's a good AHL player and that's about it, perhaps.

Vino 08-17-2013 02:28 AM

No Prokhorkin? I think he has a lot more potential than a perimeter player Hyka. Maybye Porkins will never play in the North-America again, because he will earn so much more money in Russia/KHL, but he is a big, gritty, can skate and has also some skill.

Holden Caulfield 08-17-2013 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deeshamrock (Post 70274245)
Great article, Jason, with some real insight into the individual elements that make each of these players stand out.

I agree, I think Zykov could be the steal of the draft and the top line winger the Kings will need when he matures a bit more.

I also like the progress Gravel made, and every team should have a guy who is a 6'4 solid defense first player , esp one who made such an impact for his team in a crticial situation in the NCAA tourney. Playing well under pressure is a good resume. I like the tough, smart stay at home D first guys and he sounds like a winner.

I was very glad to see Hyka make the leap to the top 20, he's been a favorite of mine since 2011 when the Flyers invited him to training camp. He played for them in preseason and I thought he was a very fast and very skilled (creative, smart) player, the kind who just knows how to score. I also watched him in the World Juniors and he was very good there as well. Another player the Flyers let go...and the Kings reap the rewards.

This is a pretty goal, nice deke and move, Hyka scored for the Flyers in 2011 in preseason (Nice feed from matt read, my favorite Flyer who is the smartest player on the team, great IQ and hands)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZPCmv36iRM

Flyers did not give him up. He was in flyers camp as an undrafted player after being passed over the previous year. Fkyers tried to sign him ala martin jones for kings , however they did not realize that that rule only applies for junior players not players who played the previous year in europe. So he went into draft where kings selected him.

deeshamrock 08-17-2013 09:37 AM

Quote:

Flyers did not give him up. He was in flyers camp as an undrafted player after being passed over the previous year. Fkyers tried to sign him ala martin jones for kings , however they did not realize that that rule only applies for junior players not players who played the previous year in europe. So he went into draft where kings selected him.
I was aware of that rule as it was commented on that year by the Flyers media and that's not what I meant by 'giving him up'. I should have stated that better. Holmgren admitted after the 2012 draft that he'd had Hyka on his radar and wanted to draft him but 'forgot' about him. That's what I mean by the Flyers letting him go, they could have drafted him that year and they didn't, the Kings did.

Minor Boarding 08-17-2013 10:11 AM

Good job...
I would argue Nick Shore should be higher...but that should happen soon if Shore plays up to his potential...Kid is smart and I don't see how he won't eventually be a NHL 3rd line center...
He's really good on the facoffs and was known for possesing gritty NHL like game...

deeshamrock 08-17-2013 10:18 AM

Quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rorschach View Post
I think, speculatively, that he is not considered a NHL prospect due to his size. He's a good AHL player and that's about it, perhaps.
Quote:

Vey? He's 6'0'' - that's around Brown/Frattin/Lewis size
He wasn't talking about Vey, I think he was referring to Weal, 5'9 and about 175

Minor Boarding 08-17-2013 10:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deeshamrock (Post 70284205)
He wasn't talking about Vey, I think he was referring to Weal, 5'9 and about 175

you beat me editing my post...:laugh:

Jason Lewis 08-17-2013 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minor Boarding (Post 70284085)
Good job...
I would argue Nick Shore should be higher...but that should happen soon if Shore plays up to his potential...Kid is smart and I don't see how he won't eventually be a NHL 3rd line center...
He's really good on the facoffs and was known for possesing gritty NHL like game...

I'm high on Shore myself. Bit of a tough stretch last year but you're right. Very solid centerman and great on the draw.

:nod:

kingsfan 08-17-2013 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deeshamrock (Post 70283451)
I was aware of that rule as it was commented on that year by the Flyers media and that's not what I meant by 'giving him up'. I should have stated that better. Holmgren admitted after the 2012 draft that he'd had Hyka on his radar and wanted to draft him but 'forgot' about him. That's what I mean by the Flyers letting him go, they could have drafted him that year and they didn't, the Kings did.

What kind of a mickey mouse scouting staff 'forgets' about a player, especially one which was in your own camp the year earlier and made waves around the NHL with his performance?

Flames Fanatic 08-17-2013 11:50 AM

Just out of curiosity, when does Kozun lose his waiver exempt status?

Always enjoyed several of the Kings prospects, so I try to keep an eye on them.

King'sPawn 08-17-2013 12:12 PM

I'll post my list later today, but I don't understand how there's a big asterisk to Roach nearly tripling his numbers against players much younger than him, but the same question isn't brought up about Miller nearly doubling his points in the same circumstances.

Edit: forgot to say thank you for the hard work and the list. Obviously I disagree with things, but it is a good list.

rick3652 08-17-2013 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flames Fanatic (Post 70286175)
Just out of curiosity, when does Kozun lose his waiver exempt status?

Always enjoyed several of the Kings prospects, so I try to keep an eye on them.

This year if he does not make the team he must clear Waivers to go back to the AHL

deeshamrock 08-17-2013 12:24 PM

Quote:


What kind of a mickey mouse scouting staff 'forgets' about a player, especially one which was in your own camp the year earlier and made waves around the NHL with his performance?
The kind of nearsighted organization headed by a mickey mouse GM whose piss poor trades , poor CAP management, bad contracts and draft screw ups has cost the Flyers for years.
And he actually said 'we sort of forgot about him'. Can't wait for him to be fired , promoted to an invented office or retire. He's awful.
the 2006 team he inherited, had for more talent than the one Lombardi did and in 6 years DL turned the Kings into an elite team who not only won a CUp, went to the WCF two years in a row but has the potential to go at least that far if not deeper next year and beyond.
HOmer had the 2005 Calder Cup champs, led by Mike Richards, with Carter, Patrick Sharpe, Denis Seidenberg, Niittymaki', Umberger, PItkanen, and he not only pissed all of them away but Lupol, Bob and JVR as well.
The Kings had a GM who in the same time frame took a team with lesser talent, drafted well, made the right trades and FA signings and built a team of winners, with great leaders showing them the way.
The Flyers? Play a great round of golf every April, and will be there again next April.

The Black1963 08-17-2013 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Lewis (Post 70285295)
I'm high on Shore myself. Bit of a tough stretch last year but you're right. Very solid centerman and great on the draw.

:nod:

Yeah, I was just going to say that I too think that Shore should have been higher, but for the most part, I agree with you Jason. I think Shore will eventually become our 3C for years to come.

etherialone 08-17-2013 01:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HF Article (Post 70273199)
The Los Angeles Kings did not have much time after a conference finals exit at the hands of the Blackhawks to ready themselves for the 2013 NHL Draft. Nonetheless the Kings managed to pick up several quality players, including what was widely considered the steal of the draft in Valentin Zykov.



Several players from the 2013 draft have already made their way onto the Kings' Top 20 as the late-drafting, boom-or-bust ways of Dean Lombardi continue to look promising. Along with new additions, old standbys continue their dominant form with several on the cusp of NHL futures.

It is a diverse group and one that has plenty of promise moving forward. read more



More...


Thank you Jason for yet another excellent article

You always manage to find a way to frame things about some of our players in a manner that I typically miss or never consider. Great insight and keep them coming.

I will try to post my top 20 later.


Thank you again for your insight and hard work.

Flames Fanatic 08-17-2013 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rick3652 (Post 70286705)
This year if he does not make the team he must clear Waivers to go back to the AHL

Interesting. If my recollection of the Kings roster is correct, there isn't exactly much room in the top nine for him, nor is he a pro-typical Sutter style player.

I wonder if he'll manage to clear waivers, or if some team will take a flyer on him. I would hope the Flames would, but Feaster seems to want to shy away from more small players.

King'sPawn 08-17-2013 05:10 PM

I ranked all players who are considered prospects by HF standards. Very brief commentary for each ranking.
1. Tyler Toffoli - NHL ready, great upside, young, and has a history of individual successes.

2. Tanner Pearson - Very smooth transition to the AHL then the NHL.

3. Linden Vey - Slower transition, but more complete game, good upside.

4. Nikolai Prokhorkin - Staying in Russia for two years is a huge concern, but he has the talent, body, and style to play well enough in a top 6 or bottom 6 role.

5. Kevin Gravel - Exponential growth recently, stalwart defensively, strong and calm with the puck.

6. Valentin Zykov - Exceptional transition to NA game, great upside, but definitely needs more time.

7. Nick Shore - Made the best of a less than ideal situation in Denver, has great individual skills and plays a cerebral game; overall game might suffer in a grinder's role.

8. Andy Andreoff - Looks NHL ready (or very close) to me, but suffers from upside issues.

9. Nicolas Deslauriers - Tools/toolbox, yada yada. You've heard it. To me, he plays a lot like Jack Johnson; you may not like him as a player, but he IS an NHL player, with a great collection of individual skills and grit.

10. Kurtis Macdermid - Great skater with a defensive game and physical edge. Upside suffers with lack of offense.

11. Michael Mersch - Potential to be a great scoring grinder. Great frame.

12. Alex Roach - Needs to prove last season wasn't an anomaly, but even so, he has size and he uses it. COULD be a two way threat on the blueline, or he could just be a bruiser.

13. Derek Forbort - Looking a lot more like Jeff Schultz, as he has size, but doesn't gravitate towards using it. Puck handling and skating still below par for his age range. But, he has good vision and there's still hope he puts it together.

14. Martin Jones - Needs to be more consistent to prove he's capable of being more than an NHL back-up.

15. Maxim Kitsyn - His elite stickhandling is useless in the open ice if he can't skate well, and if he plays more on the boards, his stickhandling will suffer. I think he needs to choose a style of game he wants to play, and fine tune his skills to follow that path, or he'll always struggle with consistency issues.

16. Hudson Fasching - Great potential to be a two way winger. I haven't seen him play live, though, so his rank is one of the more sketchy ones. Either way, he has a long way to go and develop.

17. Colin Miller - Good offensively, but I've never really seen him as effective at muscling players off the puck. I'm concerned that, in spite of his leadership intangibles, he may become a one-trick pony.

18. Patrik Bartosak - Need to see more to be comfortable ranking him higher; has a lot of upside, but fitness is an issue at the moment.

19. Nick Ebert - Very much boom or bust. I really liked what I saw of him at the most recent camp; his decisiveness was top of the line amongst all the prospects. Great skillset, as well. Just needs to do it all more consistently. I have a lot of hope for him though.

20. Jordan Weal - Great shifty skater, and plays a sneaky game where he flies under opponent's radars. Purposeful style of play. I just don't think he will find as much success in the next level, where opponents communicate with each other more and have a better sense of their surroundings.

21. Jonny Brodzinski - Long term project, but has great scoring upside.

22. Brandon Kozun - A spark plug with a great set of individual skills; the opposite of Weal. However, he sometimes plays more like a bull in a china shop and might work outside of the system from time to time, so the chances he'll get, deserving or not, might be limited.

23. Justin Auger - Has a lot of potential for his huge size, but he has one of the worst shots I've ever seen. Definitely needs to improve it. Great skater though; there's still a lot of hope for him.

24. Paul Ladue - Not very physical, but uses his stick well to break up plays defensively, and moves the puck well.

25. Nic Dowd - Put up good numbers as a junior, and his leadership is a plus. Can still be successful if he continues the simple game; one of the oldest prospects, however, and with his experience, size, and physical development, he should have a better showing against his peers, which he has not.

26. Zac Leslie - Young and a lot of potential for a good puck mover, but has a long way to go and needs to improve his overall play.

27. JF Berube - Hasn't been given a lot of opportunities at the next level, and while he's had good showings in the ECHL, still needs to do more to give himself a shot at the next level, before he has hope for the next level after that.

28. Dominik Kubalik - Haven't seen him play, but he has decent numbers for someone adjusting to the game. Needs to make the most of that adjustment now.

29. Brian O’Neill - Energy player in the AHL who plays with a huge motor and heart. However, his individual skills just don't look like they'll take him to the next level in the NHL.

30. Joel Lowry - Stagnated production as a sophomore isn't encouraging, and while his skating is great, it's always been great. Could be a good speedy energy player, like Tyler Kennedy or Brad Richardson, but is still a ways away.

31. Tomas Hyka - Decreased production as a 20 year-old in the league where there's higher scoring is a huge concern for me. Not really effective defensively from what I can see.

32. Robbie Czarnik - Such a great set of individual skills that have completely gone to waste; doesn't look like he's bulked up at all. Only put up 1/4th the points he put up in his rookie year.

Herby 08-17-2013 05:26 PM

Good list KP. Would probably move move Gravel up to 3 or 4 and Mersch up to 7 or 8. Very good list though, probably the one I agree with most out of all the ones I have seen.

Funny comments on Rob Czarnik too, people have been saying the same thing about him for 5-6 years now. Just one of those guys who will never be able to put it together. Just never had the heart to be a good pro hockey player.

David Strorm 08-17-2013 06:05 PM

Nice list KP. A couple players are too high, and you'll see them on my list shortly. Otherwise, I love it.

David Strorm 08-17-2013 06:52 PM

1. Tyler Toffoli
2. Tanner Pearson
3. Linden Vey
4. Valentin Zykov
5. Kevin Gravel
6. Derek Forbort
7. Brandon Kozun
8. Nick Shore
9. Michael Mersch
10. Martin Jones
11. Max Kitsyn
12. Andy Andreoff
13. Nikolai Prokhorkin
14. Nick Deslauriers
15. Jordan Weal
16. Nic Dowd
17. Patrik Bartosak
18. Colin Miller
19. Alex Roach
20. Nic Ebert
21. Hudson Fasching
22. Jonny Brodzinski
23. Paul LaDue
24. Dominik Kubalik
25. Joel Lowry
26. JF Berube
27. Zach Leslie
28. Kurtis MacDermaird
29. Tomas Hyka
30. Justin Auger
31. Brian O'Neill
32. Robbie Czarnik


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