Los Angeles Kings Player and Prospect Updates
While we all wait for the conclusion of the lockout, (and there have been some really good signs lately) some are forgetting that hockey is still being played in the AHL and around the world.
Due to some CBA clauses the majority of NHL players are not allowed to participate in the AHL, but that hasn't stopped a good majority of players from heading over to the European leagues in Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and Russia.
The Los Angeles Kings have a number of noteworthy players and prospects who have been on the move, performing well, and still staying in the game.
Consider this your one-stop spot for the current status of the Kings overseas and the noteworthy prospects in the system.
(Note: If an NHL player is not listed they are more than likely staying quiet and practicing on their free time with other players or organizations)
The Conn Smythe winner went under the knife back in August to repair an inflammatory cyst and disc fragment.
While he was expected to miss the beginning of the season recovering, that no longer seems to be the case.
In a recent development, Quick was sent down to the King's minor league affiliate (the Manchester Monarchs) on a rehab assignment. However, due to the NHL and NHLPA collective bargaining agreement, Quick is not allowed to play for the Monarchs. He will practice with the team in an effort to get back to 100 percent health.
The Slovenian seems to be doing well, and is enjoying life with his brother. Here's a fun little video of Anze and his brother Gasper living together in Sweden.
The Kings' captain has also made his way over to Europe for the time being. It was originally reported that the hard-hitting winger was on his way to the KHL to play for Vityaz Chekhov, but he ultimately signed in the Swiss National League with Zurich.
Brown will be playing under former Kings head coach Marc Crawford, whom Brown had his best statistical season with back in 2007-08.
The New York native has yet to play a game for Zurich at this current time.
After a fantastic second half of the season and an incredibly solid postseason, 25-year-old defenseman Alec Martinez made his way over to TPS Turku in the Finnish league.
In a great report over at the Mayor's Manor, Martinez talked about his signing with Turku and all his feelings on the lockout.
Martinez has played 10 games for TPS, and currently has a goal and an assist.
Dwight King and Jordan Nolan
The two came up together, they won a cup together, and now they are both back together playing in the AHL for the time being.
King and Nolan, due to them still being considered entry-level players, were eligible to play for the King's affiliate in Manchester.
Nolan was an immediate send down, and while the team hesitated on sending King, injuries in Manchester eventually got him down and playing with the Monarchs as well.
Nolan played just two games with the Monarchs before hurting his hand in a fight. He is expected to miss several weeks. King has played in four games with the Monarchs and has two assists.
The Kings' promising young center has had an eventful off-season. His team won the cup, his name was then subsequently left off the cup, he asked for a trade, and is off to a killer start in Manchester.
The Monarchs are off to a 6-2-1 start, thanks to some solid play from rookies, prospects and experienced players alike. Loktionov has been centering the top line for the Monarchs and has six points in seven games.
However, it's been reported (see link above) that Loktionov will almost certainly ask to be traded away from the organization once the lockout is over. It's hard to blame Loktionov, who has put in his time, but now faces the tough task of beating out Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar for a top-six centerman job.
The Kings' most untouchable prospect has had a solid start to his rookie season with the Manchester Monarchs.
Toffoli, fresh out of the OHL with the Ottawa 67's, has four points in eight games, three of which are goals.
Good numbers for a 20-year-old in his rookie season thus far.
With the current uncertainty of the Kings back-up goaltending situation, eyes have started to focus on young Martin Jones.
And he's been delivering.
Jones has arguably been the best goaltender in the AHL so far this season, as he carries a .939 save-percentage and a ridiculously low 1.62 goals against average through eight games.
The 22-year-old has been the most valuable Monarchs player thus far.
The former fourth-overall pick is playing yet another season in Manchester. He is also now significantly buried in a depth chart filled with talented young puck movers.
Hickey has played six out of nine games for the Monarchs and has just two assists. This needs to be a big year for the young defenseman if he wants to make a push at the NHL.
Voynov was eligible to go down to Manchester, and the Kings immediately exercised that option with the young Russian.
Voynov has been incredibly solid for the Monarchs thus far with five points in nine games. He is the second highest scoring defenseman on the team thus far behind an incredibly surprising start from David Kolomatis who has six points in nine games.
The Kings first-round selection in 2012, forward Tanner Pearson, was immediately eligible to join the Monarchs.
Pearson, 20, was an overage draft choice and had already played through his eligibility of junior level hockey. He has started out very well for a player playing his first professional level hockey ever, posting two goals and one assist through eight games.
If you don't know much about Pearson, here is a blurb from the Monarchs GM Ron Hextall's interview on the LA Kings Insider page.
"He’s not a real flashy player but he’s a big body, he gets to the net and he puts the puck in the right place—the little give and go plays he makes. He’s a smart player and again he’s a 20-year-old coming out of nowhere—done a good job for us so far."
Right Wing Brandon Kozun is worth a mention here considering he is currently the Monarchs leading scorer.
The sixth-round pick back in 2009 has spent two seasons in Manchester accumulating 48, and 46 points respectively.
He's a small player, standing no bigger than 5'8. However, Kozun has rounded out his game more and more each season and he is off to a blistering start in 2012-13 with 10 points in nine games.
If you want to think NHL player comparison, think Nathan Gerbe.
Big defenseman Derek Forbort is off to a good start in his junior year with the University of North Dakota.
A former first round pick in 2010, Forbort has had his ups and down, but he has three points in his first six games and has looked defensively solid. Those two goals match his goal totals for all 35 games he played last season with North Dakota.
Widely believe to be the next Kings shut down style defenseman, Muzzin has started soundly down in Manchester for the second straight season.
Muzzin has collected five points, all assists, through the first nine games of the season and continues to play a solid physical, defensive game.
This is, overall, a very brief list of noteworthy players who are out abroad, and playing well in their respective leagues. Not everyone is listed, and not every locked out NHL player is out playing. Many are just waiting out the lockout.
If there is any player not mentioned here that you want to know about, feel free to reply in the comments section and i'll respond with as much information as I can!