Who will surprise?

Yesterday, we spent most of the time talking about guys who probably are shoo-ins to make the team. Here’s what I want to know today: who’s the spoiler? Who’s the guy you think will come in and take a roster spot (or at least a lineup spot) from a more-veteran guy based on his play in training camp.

We’re talking about guys such as Boyle, Cliche, Gauthier, Harrold, Hersley, Kanko, Lewis, Meckler, Moulson, Murray, Parse, Petiot, Piskula, Purcell and Tukonen. Did I miss anyone? I leave O’Sullivan off the list because I think most people already consider him a “lineup” guy.

I’m going with Harrold. I think the cup of coffee in the NHL last season will pay off, it probably wouldn’t be that hard to bump Modry and Harrold is a guy who has Lombardi squarely in his corner.

Who do you think, and why?

I’m heading out to the Riptide lacrosse game later this afternoon. For anyone who has ever been curious, or wants to check out something new, I recommend it. Great action and great athletes.

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  • CBGB

    I’m gonna go with… Nobody.

    Crow and DL will want the kids to get as much playing time in Manchester and I think one more deal/signing for a Lappy/TK middleweight is needed.

    I’m gonna disagree and say that Harrold DOESN’T make the squad. I think Piskula is a far better option.

    But if you’re bending my arm, I’d say Teddy Purcell.

  • Ryan

    Piskula. He looked very sound last season and in the prospect game.

    Also, I think the dark horse might be Lewis. I think he could fill the hole at 4th line center.

  • SN

    Piskula early.
    Boyle by 2nd Half
    By year three Boyle will better than JJ. His combination of size,athleticism and leadership is a rare one. He is going to be the real deal.

  • Good2BKings

    On defense, it will be either Harrold or Piskula. One of those guys should beat out Modry.

    On offense, the Kings could use a true center for the fourth line. I like Marty Murray to make the team in that situation. Trevor Lewis may challenge, too.

  • pat

    I think this is the year Tukonen makes the jump. He’s a true right winger with good size and speed, as well as some scoring touch.

  • BobMillersHair

    Who will surprise?……
    I would like to see Petr Kanko get his S%#* together and take up the agitator role.

    On D? I had thought Petiot.

  • Dominic Lavoie

    I like the chances of Tukonen making the team if for no other reason than he is a pure RW. He has good size and smarts and has some experience under his belt.

  • Mike

    Piskula on D … maybe Brady Murray as a 4th line center.

    As for Tukonen, it seems he stepped it up in camp, but where does he fit. With the new additions, Sully, Tukonen, Brown and even Calder could be in a real battle for any top-6 ice time.

  • tantrum4

    I think I would go with Boyle making the team as a 7th dman, just because I think the Kings want to see this guy play against the big boys and see what he can do. He might not stay with the team all year, but i think he may go to London with them.

    On forward I would have to cheat and pick 3 guys i think would have a chance. Tukonen because it’s his time to either sh*t or get off the pot..cause his time is running out with LA…or I think Parse or Purcell could make the jump, and that’s just based on what I’ve read about the way these guys play.

  • ciscoC

    I think the guy that surprises is is Marty Murray and pushes Willsie into the extraq forward role (yay!)

    D-man, I agree with the notion that Boyle comes in mid year after fine-tuning his D-skills with the Monarchs.

  • Dave

    I think it couldn’t be far fetched for maybe two or three guys to make the team. I think Murray will end up centering the energy line, he’s got speed, can chip in scoring, plays the body & can be a pest. Tukonen impressed the coaching staff this past week and if he keeps it up, he could beat out Willsie or Zeller for the last winger spot. That may depend on if the Kings think playing 5-12 minutes a game here or 20-25 minutes in Manchester is better for him. The third player I think makes the team will be Ersberg to back JLB in goal. Cloutier will end up in Manchester because he won’t be able to earn a spot in goal with the Kings.

  • Alex

    Defense

    Harrold, Piskula, Petiot, Boyle could all challenge for #6.

    #7 should be Dallman, unless Crawford plans on dressing 7 dmen, in which case the remaining 3 all have a shot at it.

    In any event, they should all be getting playing time, whether its here or in Manchester.

    Realistically, Harrold has the best shot of making the team. He already played 12 games and didn’t look terribly out of place.

    Boyle probably has the least chance, since he’ll need more time because of his size. And Petiot/Piskula already have a bit of NHL experience.

    Offense

    Brown, Calder, Cammalleri (pending resigning), Frolov, Handzus, Kopitar
    Nagy, O’Sullivan are pretty much assured a spot on the team at this point.

    Thornton and Armstrong are longshots to be sent down. I don’t think DL would sign them to 1.5M-per contracts with intent to possibly play in Manchester. Of course, if their production wanes, its possible.

    That leaves Willsie and Ivanans. Willsie’s contract seems like Manchester is possible. And Ivanans will likely only play when a fighter is needed.

    So that leaves:
    1 definite but occasional spot (Ivanans)
    1 may be spot (Willsie)
    2 unlikely but possible spots (Thornton, Armstrong).

    Who gets the spots?
    Really hard to say. I guess whoever plays the best during October in Manchester. Tukonen probably has the upper hand, since he’s been there a while and already has some NHL games under his belt.

  • Chazz Loeks

    I’m gonna say Ersberg, backing up Babs.

    I have a question thats kind off topic., But does anyone know what happened to Ziggy. I know he wnet to pitsburg but after that he kind of slipped off the NHL radar. All these new slavic players had me thinking of him.

  • MontrealKing

    I think everyone is that is mentioning Marty Murray really mean “Brady Murray” is in A.M.’s son…

    And I agree, I think he may turn into one of the sleepers of his draft class. This kid has always measured up against much older players.

  • Fat Elvis

    Since nobody has picked him and nobody talks about him, I have to pick him. Sometimes the least talked about guy is the one that spoils the party. My pick is Cliche as 4th line center. The kid is mature beyond his years and has a understanding of the game like a vet. Coaches love him and you will to.
    2nd choice is Ersberg
    3rd is between Harrold and Piskula
    I have a feeling that injuries rather than performance will tell who it is.

  • Craig

    MontrealKing is right. There is a confusion of Murrays. Marty signed to play with a Swiss team this season. Brady is AM’s son and is in the King’s pipeline. Seems there is a Swiss/Murray connection as Brady is coming BACK from Switzerland, and Marty, as mentioned, is GOING to Switzerland.

  • 24diving

    I think it could be Murray and Piskula who are the dark horses. Murray has two years of professional play in Switzerland and shows a quick mind for making good decisions. He is strong defensively and gifted offensively. Piskula fit right in the lineup at the end of the season. I see no reason why he shouldn’t stay there.

    The two trades I would like see happen to open up spots in the lineup are Dallman and Willsie. Dallman had a great camp and then went stale. Willsie can skate but constabtly gives the puck to the opposition when he gets in the offensive zone. If the defensive spot opens up I think Harrold has a good shot at it. Willsie’s departure would allow O’Sullivan to stay if Murray does make the team.

  • mike

    i’d go with piskula

  • scar

    Parse,
    He has a Mature style suited for the NHL.

    Piskula on D Solid defender for many years to come.

  • Anonymous

    I’m surprisd that nobody has mentioned Matt Moulsson yet, considering he led the Monarchs offense last year after O’Sullivan left. Plus, Moulsson spent much of last year on a line with Zeiler, so having them together on a 4th line with a decent centre (Armstrong?) coulod be interesting. This of course factors in Ivanans not playing that particular night.

  • Puck U

    Matt Moulson is very possible to push out Willsie on the 4th line.

    Zeiler / Thornton / Moulson

    could be an effective energy puck cycling 4th line that could net a few goals here and there.

    On D there are a few that will challange Modry as a 6th and Dallman as the 7th.

    Keep in mind a couple of guys would have to clear waivers so if they come up they’d have to stay up, like Petiot, and maybe Harrold.

  • Greg

    The Kings didn’t bring in Dravecky to play in Manchester. They brought him in to play on Handzus’ other wing.
    Nagy Handzus Dravecky

  • Bill

    Petoit or Piskula. Size & physical presence to balance out the defense corp.

  • Anon

    Moulson and any one of Piskula, Harrold, or Petiot.

    Moulson has good offensive upside and, from what I hear, played great in Manchester last year, better than many players who were called up ahead of him; he was also one of the final cuts at last year’s camp (if I remember correctly). I can definitely see him stepping into a 3rd/4th line role this season if there’s room.

    Piskula and Harrold were both on the roster at different times last year and I think that both played well. Piskula is a guy that DL really went all out to get so I can see him having a lot of faith in what this guy can bring to the club; on the flipside, JP’s also fresh out of college and may need some further acclimation to the pro game in Manchester despite ending the year on the Kings. Harrold played a very solid all-around game (he reminds me a bit of Tom Preissing, actually), has payed his dues in the AHL and, seemingly, is a guy that the organization already started transitioning into the NHL last season; he could very well be the most ready for the NHL of any prospect…

    …unless, of course, Petiot rebounds well from his injuries; RP’s really had some terrible luck in that department…injury-free, he probably should have been on the team one or even two seasons ago. From what I hear, he’s assumed a leadership role amongst the team’s prospects and AHL players and has had a very strong development camp this year. If his injuries are behind him, I think he might be ready to make the jump and bring his hard-edged defensive-minded game to the next level.

    I’ll take Petiot and Moulson as my top two “surprise” picks.

  • Jayson

    I believe ziggy retired.

  • Wrigleyville King

    Ziggy continued to have shoulder problems with the Pens and did indeed retire half way through 2005-06 season.

  • Bruce

    In an ideal world, Modry would be the #6 defenseman with Dallman as the healthy scratch. I would predict that Piskula is ahead of Harrold for an NHL spot despite the fact that they have different strengths. Harrold looks small in stature and I’m not sure he can play the physical type of game that Piskula could probably handle better. They should both be gaining experience in Manchester if they’d be sitting a lot or playing reduced minutes with the Kings.

  • Marc Nathan

    Trade Harrold to the New York Mets… 45 years and the franchise has never had a no-hitter. With Harrold, it’s a guarantee (GRIN.)

  • Moondoggie

    Hmmmm…interesting arguements for all. Let’s see, I do like Brady Murray, gritty play and he can score, plus he’s fast, playing right into DL’s vision of the new NHL. Trevor Lewis? It just may be his time but I see one more year at Manchester, after that the sky is the limit for this kid, same for Boyle. Next year is really shaping up to be an interesting year what with all the kids coming up. Tukonen? Nah, I just don’t see it, he has yet to show what he has in the NHL. Which one is going to show up, the one from Manchester or the one that failed to show in LA last season? Same for Sully I’m afraid to say. Manchester is a long ways from LA, hopefully the time at Manchester for Sully was good, if not Lewis and/or Murray will be in LA to stay. And yes, don’t be surprised to see Boyle in a Kings uniform by mid-season. The quicker he gets the experience he needs to play in the NHL, the shorter the amount of time we’ll have to see Modry. One more thing, Ersberg yes, backing up JLB, Cloutier out. I don’t believe Crow and DL will make that mistake again, hopefully. I don’t believe they brought Ersberg over from Sweden to play at Manchester. We can ill afford not to have a backup goalie this year; JLB had another terrific year in the AHL but what’s he done in the NHL? Stay tuned!

  • CUP4LA

    My longshot to make the team is Trevor Lewis.

  • Chris D.

    Lauri Tukonen.

    The kid has good size and solid hockey sense. Plays a 2-way game.

    Tuk would make an excellent 3rd liner right now and will eventually develop into solid top 6 forword. He plays at a high tempo and likes to crash the net. I guarantee Marc Crawford will keep a close eye on him at training camp.

    I don’t see how any defenseman can grab a spot. They’re pretty much set..

    Stuart – Visnovsky
    Johnson – Blake
    Modry – Preissing

    Richard Petiot deserves a spot. Unfortunately, Jaroslav Modry has it taken.

  • Randart

    I tried to find definitive info on a Ziggy comeback…
    As I thought I had heard of this? After searching the web I found nothing concrete. But there is some gray areas here as he did play for Slovakia with Stumpie and did well there!
    I believe he is still under contract for one more year to the Pengs… Sorry all I could find on Ziggy and his retirement which I assume at this time is still in place… But there is hope for you ZP fans he just might turn up yet in the NHL!

  • Damen

    The thing I loved about Harrold that he showed during his short time in LA last year is he was not afraid to play his game. O’Sullivan, at least out of camp before he was sent down looked as if he was trying only to not make any mistakes & I think it cost him. While Harrold dove straight in, which is gutsy for an offensively talented blueliner. The problem is Preissing. He brings the same style of play & like Harrold is right handed. You know Blake will be on the right side & between Lubo & Jaroslav one of them will end up on the right side too, which leaves Peter out. He will replace LaBarbera as the most NHL ready player in Manchester.

  • triplcrown

    Scott Parse will seemingly come out of nowhere to make the team, and at least start the season, in L.A.

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